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Muslim tourism growth market study

Jul 2012

A new ground-breaking study, ‘Global Muslim Lifestyle Travel Market: Landscape & Consumer Needs,' shows that Muslim tourists globally represented a major niche market worth $126.1 billion in 2011, growing at 4.8% through 2020, compared to the global average of 3.8%. In a challenging global economic environment, the Study highlights how airlines, tourism destinations, and hotels/resorts can benefit by engaging with a market with a young demographic, is growing in affluence, and is increasingly asserting its unique needs in the tourism industry.

Get a Free Copy of the Executive Summary here.

The Study has been released by DinarStandard, a New York-based marketing research and advisory firm focused on the Muslim markets & Crescentrating, a pioneer in developing Halal-friendly travel. The Study covers the largest outbound and inbound Muslim travel markets.

Examples of the many tourism destinations, airlines, and hotels/resorts already engaging with this niche market include Australia's Gold Coast, which attracts Muslim tourists by offering a Gold Coast Ramadan Lounge. However, the Study shows that this customer segment's needs are yet to be realized.

The Study estimates that the global Muslim tourism market of $126.1 billion in outbound expenditure is 12.3% of the total global outbound tourism expenditure in 2011. The Muslim tourist spending is set to grow to $192 Billion by 2020, representing 13.4% of the global expenditure. Comparatively, this Muslim tourism market is larger than the largest spending tourist market in the world - Germany - and almost twice that of China in 2011.

"With the rapid growth of the Muslim travelers, there was a need for a comprehensive global study on this segment of travelers. This Study will now let travel industry players evaluate the potential of the Muslim lifestyle travel market by region and develop key engagement frameworks for a high-impact market strategy," said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of Crescentrating.

Rafi-uddin Shikoh, Managing Director of DinarStandard, said, "Muslim tourists may very well be the largest un-tapped niche market of the tourism Industry. Airlines, destinations, and hotels/resorts can benefit tremendously by catering to the unique Muslim lifestyle travel drivers of Halal food, family-friendly environments, religious practices, accommodation, gender relations nuances, and other areas. We have made distinct, practical recommendations for Muslim and Non-Muslim market-based tourism players. ."

Some key insights from the Study include:

  • MENA markets represented 60% of total global Muslim tourist outbound expenditure in 2011
  • The top Outbound Muslim tourism source country in 2011 was Saudi Arabia followed by Iran, UAE, Indonesia, and Kuwait
  • Muslim communities living in non-Muslim countries also have sizable outbound tourism expenditure share. The largest of these markets are Germany, Russia, France, and UK
  • The top destinations for Muslim tourists are Malaysia, Turkey, and UAE. Followed by Singapore, Russia, China, France, Thailand, and Italy
  • Overall, when asked, "Which of the following are important to you when traveling for leisure?" the top answers were "Halal Food" (67%), followed by "Overall price" (53%), and "Muslim-friendly experience" (49%).

The study incorporated a top-down and bottom-up approach, conducting a primary online survey focused on top Muslim tourist markets, industry interviews, and secondary research utilizing credible sources such as the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), government agency interviews, and other secondary research mechanisms.

Get a Free Copy of the Executive Summary here.

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