Jakarta, 8 April 2019 -- Halal travel is a global trend that is promising now and in the future. From 2000 to 2020, the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) predicts that the global Muslim travel market will have grown by 27% per year and is predicted to reach 158 million with total purchases of IDR 3,080 trillion. This number exceeds the growth in world traveler numbers by 6.4% per year as per the WTTC (2018).
The rapid growth in global halal tourism is also being achieved by Indonesia. The growth of the halal tourism market in 2018 reached 18%. The number of visits by international Muslim travelers reached 2.8 million, with more than IDR 40 trillion in foreign exchange. In 2019, the Ministry of Tourism has even targeted visits by international Muslim travelers to Indonesia to reach 5 million people and for Indonesia to be ranked first as the global tourism destination in the GMTI.
The Ministry of Tourism has been putting a focused effort on reaching this target. The global Mastercard-CrescentRating GMTI is used to accelerate the readiness of national halal tourism destinations to compete at a global scale. The standard, called the Indonesian Muslim Travel Index (IMTI), uses four measurable criteria, including access, communication, environment, and services. The launch of the IMTI aims to rank national tourism destinations as destinations that are friendly to Muslim tourists, both foreign and domestic.
“To beat the competition, we must use global standards,” said Arief Yahya, Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia. He always emphasizes this point to all individuals involved in the national tourism sector.
The readiness of destination stakeholders in implementing global standards for halal tourism is critical. This directly affects the quality and the level of development of Indonesian halal tourism.
The year 2019 is the second year of implementing the GMTI global standards in assessing the performance of national flagship halal tourism destinations. A total of 10 destinations have been assessed using this standard, namely Lombok, Aceh, Jakarta, West Sumatra, Yogyakarta, West Java, Riau Islands, Malang, Central Java, and Makassar and its surroundings. In the coming year, the Ministry of Tourism will continue to encourage the development of other halal tourism destinations. The increasing number of destination choices will strengthen the competitive position of the Indonesian halal tourism sector.
On Monday, 8 April 2019, IMTI 2019 is being launched. The best national halal tourism destination awards will be given to the five best destinations. The independent IMTI 2019 assessment was directly conducted by Mastercard-CrescentRating. Objectivity in this assessment is required to be able to accurately measure each destination’s performance. This achievement will be important for Indonesia’s efforts to be the best in the GMTI 2019 ranking of global halal tourism destinations.
“Since 2015, Mastercard and CrescentRating have collaborated to help governments across Southeast Asia work with the tourism industry to better cater to the needs of Muslim travelers and empower all stakeholders with the information they need to improve their travel services and experiences. The tremendous improvement in tourism by the Indonesian provinces is a result of years of careful planning, sustained investment, and development of infrastructure by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism. Mastercard is committed to supporting the Indonesian government to achieve its ambition of being a leader in Halal travel through our rich insights in this segment and strong partnerships,” said Safdar Khan, Division President, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, Mastercard.
The launch of IMTI 2019 is believed to improve Indonesian tourism quality in serving Muslim travelers as a global halal tourism destination.
“Once again, the ‘global player’ title can only be achieved by implementing global standards,” added Arief.