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Trip Patterns and Travel Behaviors of Muslim Women Travelers – Insights from Muslim Women in Travel 2019

Nov 2019

The Mastercard-CrescentRating Muslim Women in Travel 2019 is the first ever report to examine the needs, travel behaviors and consumption of Muslim women travelers. Muslim women travelers are a subset of the women traveler population. Out of the 140 million total Muslim visitor arrivals in 2018, Muslim women comprise of 63 million with a total estimated travel expenditure of USD 80 Billion.

Purpose of Travel

It is found that Muslim women travelers are traveling for multiple reasons.

Listed below are the purposes for their travels:

  • Leisure travel which includes vacations and visiting family and/or friends
  • Business travel which includes business meetings, conferences and/or exhibitions
  • Religious travel which includes Hajj & Umrah
  • Other travel purposes such as volunteering, attending events or further studies abroad

According to the research, leisure travel is the most common purpose where 90% of Muslim women travelers indicated leisure as their main purpose for travel. This is followed by Religious Travel (21%) and Business Travel (11%). On average, Muslim women travelers go on trips 2-3 times in a year where the trip duration averages between 4-6 days. 65% prefer free and independent travel and on average, they plan their trips 1-6 months in advance. 

It is found that 80% of Muslim women travelers look for family-friendly attractions while 71% look for kitchen facilities to make their meals especially when halal food is limited and/or  expensive. The research also discovered that 49% of Muslim women travel with children and look for children-friendly amenities.

Highly Influential in Trip Planning

The research examined the role of Muslim women travelers in different travel contexts - Solo Travel, Family Travel, All-Female Group and Mixed Gender Group. A key finding from the research is the level of influence Muslim women travelers have on trip planning. 

They are most influential in making travel decisions when traveling with their family and spouse - displaying almost twice as much influence as compared to when they are traveling with others. Although Muslim women travelers make most of the decisions when planning a solo trip, they may still be influenced by their parents and other family members in the travel choices they make. 

When traveling with a group of females, each of them have an influence on the trip planning process. When traveling in a mixed group of male and female companions, Muslim women travelers are exerting a degree of influence in trip planning.


How Muslim Women are Traveling

Family Travel

It is found that Muslim women travelers usually travel with their family (71%) most of the time. This includes male and female family members such as parents, spouse, children, siblings and other relatives. The top 2 age groups under this profile are 18-24 and 35-44.

All-Female Group

The All-Female Group traveler is the second most popular type of travel party where 29% of the respondents have traveled in an all-female group. These women may not necessarily have familial ties to each other, can be a group of female friends and/or a group of strangers with a common interest going on trips togethers. Unsurprisingly, the top 2 age groups under this profile are 18-24 and 25-34.  These women are young, educated and driven to explore the world.

Solo Travel

Another noticeable travel pattern among Muslim women travelers is the increasing number of women who travel alone. It is found that 28% of respondents surveyed identify as solo travelers. The top 2 age groups for this profile are 25-34 and 35-44. Some of these women travel alone for leisure and for self-discovery while some travel solo for work purposes.

Mixed Gender Group

Another form of travel party among Muslim women travelers is the Mixed Gender Group where they travel in a group of males and females. They may be traveling with friends, a part of a tour group or with colleagues. The top 2 age groups are 18-24 and 25-34.

Out of all the profiles, the most prominent profile is the family leisure traveler who are between the ages of 35-44.

Activities that Muslim Women Travelers Seek

Listed below are the common activities engaged by Muslim women travelers in their travels:

  • Shopping (74%)
  • Cultural immersion activities (70%)
  • Learning opportunities such as participating in cooking classes, art or pottery classes etcetera (62%)
  • Adventure activities such as hiking, trekking, rafting etcetera (56%)
  • Special events and festivals (48%)
  • Spa and Wellness (42%)

It is found that the top 3 activities that are popular among the younger Muslim women (between the ages of 18-34) includes Shopping, Cultural Immersion and Adventure.

Among the older Muslim women (between the ages of 35-64), popular activities are Shopping, Cultural Immersion and Learning Opportunities.

As for Muslim women who are aged 65 and above, the top 3 activities are Cultural Immersion, Learning Opportunity and Special Events and Festivals.

 Click here to download the full report

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