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What GMTI 2016 Means for European Countries

Europe is home to a large Muslim population and is a key region for the travel industry, playing an important role in terms of both inbound and outbound tourism. Inbound tourism for Europe in particular contributes greatly to the travel economy – with countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK receiving large numbers of tourist arrivals annually.

The MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index 2016 analyzed a total of 34 European destinations. Two more European destinations were added to the Index in 2016 – Andorra and Ukraine.

Each destination was given a score based on various criteria such as the level of Muslim-friendly services and facilities at the destination, the availability of accommodation options, the number of Muslim visitor arrivals to the destination, as well as the marketing initiatives undertaken by the destination to reach out to the Muslim travel market.

The 34 European destinations were ranked as follows:

DESTINATION

GMTI SCORE

GMTI RANK

United Kingdom

59.0

21

France

51.6

32

Spain

48.8

37

Belgium

48.1

39

Germany

46.8

43

Switzerland

45.6

47

Bosnia and Herzegovina

45.3

48

Russian Federation

45.1

49

Ireland

44.3

51

Netherlands

43.6

56

Albania

43.5

57

Italy

43.2

60

Bulgaria

40.7

66

Austria

40.3 69

Denmark

39.8

72

Greece

38.8

74

Sweden

38.5

75

Norway

38.4

77

Croatia

38.1

78

Portugal

37.6

82

Luxembourg

34.7

89

Romania

34.4 92

Lithuania

34.4

93

Poland

34.1

94

Finland

33.7

97

Slovenia

33.6

98

Hungary

32.7

99

Czech Republic

32.6

101

Slovak Republic

31.8

103

Malta

31.6

106

Estonia

30.8

109

Ukraine

30.8

111

Latvia

30.5

114

Andorra

29.3

121

The United Kingdom was the highest ranked destination in Europe for GMTI 2016, followed by France, Spain, Belgium and Germany which made up the top five. Though no European destinations were included in the overall top 10 ranks of the Index, the United Kingdom and France were ranked 3rd and 6th respectively under the non-OIC destination category of the Index.

The United Kingdom saw an increase in ranks by 4 spots compared to its performance on the Index last year. Germany and Ireland were the two other European destinations that saw an improvement in rankings with an increase of 1 position and 2 positions respectively.

With regard to criteria, the Europe region in general performed extremely well under the category of Family-Friendly Destination and achieved the best score for this category amongst all regions. Europe also performed well under the categories of Muslim Visitor Arrivals, Accommodation Options and Air Connectivity. Areas that needed improvement included Dining Options and Halal Assurance, Access to Prayer Spaces and Muslim Travel Needs and Outreach.

For a full analysis and to access the complete Global Muslim Travel Index 2016, please visit:https://www.crescentrating.com/mastercard-crescentrating-global-muslim-travel-index-gmti-2016.html