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The Mastercard-CrescentRating Halal Travel Frontier 2019 Report Unveils the Top Trends to Watch in the Muslim Travel Market

Jan 2019

Singapore, 29 January 2019 - The Mastercard-CrescentRating Halal Travel Frontier 2019 Report (HTF2019) has identified 17 trends that will shape the next phase of development in the fast growing Halal travel sector.

The report analyzes changes in the Halal travel space, and provides insights on how these trends will impact and influence the Muslim traveler. It predicts how technology, the environment and social activism will bring about major changes in all aspects of the Halal travel industry and make it easier for Muslim travelers to explore the world.

The 17 top trends include:

  • The integration of augmented reality to give Muslim travelers crucial cultural insights, including eateries that are Halal certified.
  • The proliferation of chatbots which are custom-designed to satisfy the cultural and religious needs of a Muslim traveler.
  • A streamlined visa approval process for Muslims traveling to Mecca to perform Umrah.
  • Non-traditional destinations such as Japan, South Africa and Taiwan will increasingly attract Muslim travelers.

Changes in the Umrah Visa process and the rise of new interactive technology will mean that traditional Hajj and Umrah service providers will face disruption in their business models. Young millennial Muslim travelers will now also be able to book their own do-it-yourself (DIY) Umrah. This means that existing players will need to re-invent themselves and re-imagine the services they offer to stay relevant. 

Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), coupled with the increased penetration of smartphones, will also drive new trends that will re-define every step of the Muslim travel experience – from planning to purchasing, and sharing travel adventures.

Driven by the demand for more authentic, affordable and accessible experiences, more Millennials and Gen Z travelers will book “Instant Noodle Trips” - affordable, impromptu short trips.

In addition, heightened awareness on social causes and the rising authority of female influencers when planning trips, are also expected to result in changes in the way that Muslims travel.

The report also foresees non-OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) destinations, such as South Africa, Japan and Taiwan, will dramatically change the Muslim-friendly narrative. Competition and dynamism are expected lead to innovations and developments that will benefit both, destinations, as well as Muslim travelers.

Finally, the report foresees the consolidation of Muslim travel service providers that will potentially result in the emergence of stronger Muslim lifestyle and travel brands.

“Being at the forefront of the Muslim travel market during the last 10 years, CrescentRating is in a unique position with access to extensive data and insights to have a holistic view of the market. We have also been able to augment these insights by the emerging Muslim traveler behavior patterns we see on our HalalTrip website and mobile App, as well as the consumer purchasing behavior trends observed by Mastercard. This has enabled us to identify key trends so that all stake holders can prepare and benefit from the changes about to happen. We hope this motivates all players to embrace and further benefit from the growth.” said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating and HalalTrip.


“Mastercard has been working with CrescentRating to create invaluable research insights to enhance the payments landscape, encourage cross-border commerce, and set new benchmarks for the expansion of the Halal travel and tourism industry. The Halal Travel Frontier 2019 Report gives businesses, governments and other stakeholders in the travel sector an overview of the trends sweeping the fast growing Halal travel industry and how they can maximize opportunities in this fast growing travel sector,” said Safdar Khan, Division President, Indonesia, Malaysia & Brunei, Mastercard.


The global Muslim traveler expenditure is projected to reach US$220 billion in 2020 according to the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2018. It is expected to grow a further US$80 billion to hit US$300 billion by 2026.  In 2017, there were an estimated 131 million Muslim visitor arrivals globally - up from 121 million in 2016 - and this is forecasted to grow to 156 million visitors by 2020, representing 10 percent of the global travel segment.


The Top 17 Trends to Watch in 2019

Trend 1

Heightened awareness on social causes while exploring destinations


Trend 10

Urge for “Instant Noodle Trips”

Trend 2

AI will further empower Muslim travelers


Trend 11

Hotel sector will stop hitting Halal snooze

Trend 3

Halal assurance will become smarter with AR


Trend 12

Rising female voice in trip planning

Trend 4

AR will reconnect Muslim travelers with lost Islamic heritage

Trend 13

Destinations to encounter multiple Muslim traveler identities with common shared values


Trend 5

Consolidation of Muslim travel space will result in emergence of stronger Muslim lifestyle / travel brands


Trend 14

Decline in Muslim visitors to destinations perceived as unwelcoming

Trend 6

Disruption of the traditional Umrah market with DIY Umrah


Trend 15

Human resource development to take center stage

Trend 7

Deeper training immersion with VR Umrah


Trend 16

Rise in demand for Halal advisory

Trend 8

Convergence of travel behavior around mobile


Trend 17

Preventing Halal big data chaos

Trend 9

Growing non-OIC wave in Muslim travel ocean





The full report is available at: https://www.crescentrating.com/halal-muslim-travel-market-reports.html.


- Ends -

About CrescentRating Pte Ltd

CrescentRating is the world’s leading authority on Halal-friendly travel. The company’s vision is to lead, innovate and drive this segment through practical and deliverable solutions in what is regarded today as one of the fastest growing segment in the tourism sector. The company uses insight, industry intelligence, life-style, behavior and research on the needs of the Muslim traveler to deliver guidance on all aspects of Halal-friendly travel to organizations across the globe.

CrescentRating’s services now include rating & accreditation, research & consultancy, workshops & training, ranking & indices, event support/partnerships and content provisioning.


Website: http://www.crescentrating.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/crescentrating

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/crescentrating



About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardAP, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.


CrescentRating Communications Contact

Nabilah Ayunni, +65 62552896
[email protected]


Mastercard Communications Contact

Venture Liang, +65 6390 5973

[email protected]


Agency Communications Contact

Pallavi Misra, +65 6825 8016

[email protected]



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