Foreword by Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating and HalalTrip for Global Muslim Travel Index 2022.
Welcome to the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel (GMTI) 2022 report. As we look forward to a new beginning in the travel & tourism sector, GMTI 2022 continues to rank 138 destinations on how prepared they are to leverage the Muslim travel market to accelerate recovery. In addition, this year’s report also looks at some of the key drivers that will propel the Halal travel market forward in its next development phase.
Gen Z, Millennials, and women are the most influential and growing demographic within the Muslim population. 70% of the estimated population of 2 billion are under 40 years with Gen Z & Millennials representing 50% of the population. In addition, women travelers represent one of the fastest-growing segments within the Muslim travel market. They make up around 45% of the global Muslim arrivals. Given these factors, we examine the impact of the pandemic on the Halal Travel 2.0 drivers identified in the GMTI 2019 report and take an in-depth look at these demographics that will shape the future growth and narrative of this segment.
As social impact activities, sustainability, and meaningful travel are key growing themes in the postpandemic era; we have updated the ACES criteria model to reflect these trends with the addition of Sustainability metrics.
As for the GMTI 2022 rankings, Malaysia continues its top ranking, closely followed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia in joint 2nd position. Uzbekistan continues its impressive growth to reach 9th position this year. Among the non-OIC destination, the top 4 remains the same (Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom & Thailand).
International Muslim traveler arrivals reached 160 million in 2019. After the disruption in 2020 and 2021, we project that Muslim traveler arrivals will reach 140 million in 2023 and get back to the 2019 level of 160 million in 2024. The pre-pandemic projection of 230 million arrivals by 2026 will now be reached in 2028 with an estimated expenditure of USD 225 Billion. This recovery process is fragile and could be disrupted by the continuing war in Ukraine, fuel price increases, and other health threats such as the emerging monkeypox or COVID-19 variants.
However, we stay optimistic that economies will recover soon from the pandemic’s damage to lives and livelihoods. Moreover, as the travel industry gears up for quarantine-free international travel, we believe the Muslim travel sector could contribute immensely to accelerating the recovery.
We trust the insights of the GMTI 2022 report will enable all travel and tourism stakeholders to seize the opportunities in the dynamic Muslim travel sector with a better understanding of the Halal tourism landscape. With our long-standing partner Mastercard, we are committed to enabling the sustainable growth of this sector and supporting the travel industry’s pivotal role in bringing communities together and embracing diversity, equity and inclusion.
Check out the Global Muslim Travel Index 2022 here.