The MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Market 2016 estimated that there were 117 million Muslim international travelers in 2015. This is projected to grow to 168 million by 2020, where the travel expenditure by Muslim travelers is expected to exceed USD 200 billion. Here are 5 key drivers for the continued growth of the Muslim travel market:
The Muslim population is growing rapidly and is expected to make up 26 percent of the world’s population by 2030. This translates to one out of three people born between 1990 and 2030 being Muslim.
The middle class in countries with large Muslim populations are increasing. These include Gulf countries, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Turkey, Nigeria and Bangladesh. The 2nd and 3rd generation of Muslims in Western Europe and North America are also becoming highly educated and entering the professional work
force. All of this is increasing the disposable income of a large Muslim consumer base.
According to Pew research, “Muslims are also the youngest (median age of 23 years old in 2010) of all major religious groups, seven years younger than the median age of non-Muslims.” They are better informed and are actively influencing the travel planning of their family holidays.
The proliferation of Internet access coupled with high penetration of smartphones have made travel planning easier in general. Muslim majority countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE are among the top countries when it comes to smartphone penetration. A younger more technology-savvy population also means more Muslims are active on social media and use it to get information.
The last few years have seen many businesses and destinations beginning to adapt their products and services to cater to Muslim travelers. This has meant that there is an increasing availability of Muslim-friendly services. Halal food is available in many major cities now.