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Muslim Gen Z Travelers Seeking Culture, Sustainability in Travel: Mastercard-CrescentRating Report

Jan 2023

Coming of age during a time of global turbulence and greater climate awareness, Muslim Gen Z travelers are prioritizing opportunities that reflect these experiences

Singapore – January 17, 2023 – Two thirds of Muslim Gen Z travelers are looking for cultural immersion in their chosen destinations, while nature excursions are prioritized just as highly as more conventional “leisure seeking” pursuits, such as shopping and events. They are also developing financial independency with 32 percent paying for trips from their own pockets as opposed to 16 percent who rely solely on their parents. The findings come from the inaugural Mastercard-CrescentRating Muslim Gen Z: The Next Generation of Travelers report. 

According to the report, the Muslim Gen Z population is actively looking to travel, with 69 percent planning to take two or more trips in the next 12 months, and 32 percent wanting to stay at their destinations between one and two weeks. 

More importantly, almost half of the respondents (45 percent) identify themselves as environmental enthusiasts. Nearly a third are willing to minimize flying, while 11 percent will pay for carbon offsets and 14 percent will take holidays closer to home to avoid long haul flights. In fact, when it comes to travel spend, they are known as intentional spenders where 77 percent of Muslim Gen Z are willing to spend more on sustainable practices such as reducing air travel, participating in voluntourism (or volunteer tourism), and supporting local businesses. When it comes to payment methods overseas, 73 percent of them are more inclined to use a debit or credit card while 57 percent prefer to use cash. 

“Being the first generation born in the digital age, Gen Z are often considered the true digital natives with exposure to the internet, social networks, and mobile devices from a very early age. Gen Z are actively redefining what it means to travel. This report presents clear, actionable findings for tourism operators around the world that can help them to capture this incredibly important demographic,” said Fazal Bahardeen, Founder & CEO, CrescentRating and HalalTrip.

Muslim Gen Z women also emerged in the study as important decision makers, with over 70 percent heavily involved in planning for family travel. Almost 70 percent prefer cultural immersion activities such as experiencing local traditions, heritage, and cuisine. In addition, 63 percent seek opportunities to learn something new in their travels. This segment is also drivers for change, with 76 percent indicating social causes to be important in their travel plans. 

Faith-based services are also important for Muslim travelers, with Muslim Gen Z identifying Halal food services, prayer facilities, and water-friendly washrooms as “need to have” factors when considering destinations.

“We’ve seen that all over the world, consumers are making up for the lost time in travel due to the challenges over the last few years. They are enthusiastically wanting to visit new places and discover new experiences while keeping sustainability top of mind, and this demand will influence consumer choice and spend significantly in 2023. Mastercard is proud of the partnership with CrescentRating in developing relevant research insights that help to build a more complete, nuanced understanding of Muslim travelers,” said Safdar Khan, Division President, Southeast Asia, Mastercard.

This is the 24th report in the Mastercard-CrescentRating Muslim lifestyle reports series. Mastercard and CrescentRating have partnered for nine years to develop insights into Muslim travel that have enabled the travel industry to make more informed and strategic decisions. Past reports include the annual Global Muslim Travel Index, ASEAN Travel Readiness and Ramadan & Eid Lifestyle.

The Mastercard-CrescentRating Muslim Gen Z: The Next Generation of Travelers report can be accessed here.

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