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Analysing Changing Travel Patterns and Trends During Ramadan

Jun 2016

Since March 2015, the MasterCard-CrescentRating partnership has seen the release of a number reports on the Muslim travel market. These reports have become premier resources for destinations and businesses to develop strategies to attract and cater to the needs of the growing Muslim travel segment.

The MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) is now the global benchmark on how destinations are performing in attracting the Muslim market segment. In 2015 MasterCard and CrescentRating also released the Muslim Travel Shopping Index (MTSI) which looks at the shopping and dining behavior of this segment.

The “MasterCard-CrescentRating Ramadan Travel Report” is another landmark report in this series which looks at the changing patterns of travel during the holy month of fasting. A total of 50 destinations were analyzed in this year’s report. These were selected based on the top 50 destinations from the MasterCard-CrescentRating GMTI 2016 report, 49 of which (excluding Saudi Arabia) were benchmarked based on the weighted averages of three criteria over a span of 15 years, which is an effective timeframe for the long term strategic planning for a destination.

The criteria used in this study were based on the convenience, comfort and ease of travel, and not from the perspective of Islamic rewards. As such, the MasterCard-CrescentRating Ramadan Travel Report focuses on the following three themes:

Average Daytime Temperature (20% Weightage)

  • Weather is an important factor that determines a traveler's level of comfort.
  • Information on weather forecasts of destinations over a period of 15 years were factored into calculation. Only past weather patterns were used in forecasting which does not take into account future global temperature changes such as global warming.
  • A scale was used to assign points to a range of temperatures with higher points awarded to the cooler temperatures deemed most comfortable for traveling.

Fasting Duration (30% Weightage)

  • Average fasting duration was factored since the number of hours per day spent fasting differs from country to country.
  • Calculations on the fasting durations of destinations over a period of 15 years were made.
  • Destinations that did not have longer fasting hours were given higher points in terms of travel comfort.

GMTI 2016 Score (50% Weightage)

  • The GMTI score received by each destination on the Global Muslim Travel Index 2016 was used to take into account the destination's overall Muslim-friendliness.
  • Latest GMTI 2016 score was kept as a constant for each of destinations over a period of 15 years.
  • Destinations that were ranked higher on GMTI 2016 received more points for this criteria.

The relatively higher weightage of the GMTI reflects the importance of the Muslim friendly environment especially in the month of Ramadan.


Download the full MasterCard-CrescentRating Ramadan Travel Report 2016 here



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