Muslim travellers globally represent a major niche market in the travel and tourism industry. Being a young demographic growing in affluence, the Muslim travel market is increasingly asserting its unique needs on the tourism industry globally. This article explores how catering to Muslim travellers can benefit and boost a country's economy.
The Muslim travel market is one of the most lucrative and fastest growing markets in the world. By 2020, the annual global expenditure of Muslim travellers is expected to increase to as much as $192 billion – making up 13.4% of the world's total travel expenditure. Muslim-friendly tourism is also expected to grow at a rate of 4.79% over the next five years - much faster than conventional tourism which sees a growth rate of only 3.8% in comparison. The world's Muslim population itself is expected to be around 25% of the entire population by 2020 and will provide a wealth of opportunities to stakeholders in the tourism industry.
Catering to Muslim travellers will undoubtedly strengthen the tourism industry of a destination or country. Destinations that provide adequate facilities for Muslims will be able to successfully attract more Muslim travellers, resulting in higher tourist arrivals and better tourism development.
Tourism in general has always played a vital role in economic development. The global travel and tourism industry generates several thousand billion U.S. Dollars in revenue each year - with International tourism for the year 2012 being valued as much as 1,075 billion U.S. Dollars. This includes the expenditure of tourists for transport as well as expenditure on services and goods at the destination country. With the Muslim travel market being one of the highest-spending travel markets in the world, a larger number of Muslim visitor arrivals to a destination will result in a significant increase in the tourism revenue generated.
More Job Opportunities
The development of the tourism industry will also offer numerous employment benefits in many sectors. The global tourism industry in 2010 alone provided more than 235 million jobs to employees – comprising 8% of global employment. Destinations that successfully attract a larger number of Muslim travellers will be able to drive employment growth in a wide range of sectors - ranging from construction to agriculture or telecommunications.
Catering to the Muslim travel market will enable destination and counties to diversify their tourism industry and not be over-reliant on a few select target markets. A good example is Japan, which recently decided to implement plans to upgrade its facilities for Muslim travellers in a bid to reach out to the Muslim travel market. By doing so, it aims to no longer be highly dependent on its long-term target market of Chinese, Taiwanese and South Korean tourists. Similarly, other destinations could adapt their tourism model to accommodate Muslim travellers and thus diversify their tourism industry.
Indirect Promotion & Trade Opportunities
Countries that cater to Muslim travellers will be able to market and promote themselves as a Muslim-friendly destination. This will in turn drive more tourist arrivals and open up new business opportunities for destinations. More trade opportunities will thus be available – particularly with the Middle East.
CrescentRating offers a wide range of workshops, training programs and other services that provide a comprehensive insight on how destinations can better serve Muslim travellers. As the pioneer in the Halal travel sector, CrescentRating has in-depth knowledge and experience to help destinations develop and execute strategies that reach out the Muslim travel market and this boost their economy. For more information, click on http://www.crescentrating.com/academy/halal-tourism-consulting.html