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Navigating the Global Muslim Travel Landscape: Key Touchpoints and Best Practices in 2023 | GMTI 2023 Report

Sep 2023

In a rapidly evolving global travel landscape, catering to the diverse needs of different traveler demographics has become paramount. The Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2023 report, composed by Mastercard-CrescentRating, provides a comprehensive assessment of key touchpoints in the journey of Muslim travelers. This analysis not only highlights areas of opportunity but also showcases best practices from destinations that have excelled in catering to the needs of Muslim travelers.

Key Touchpoints of a Muslim Traveler: An Analysis of the Hard Touchpoints

Visa Requirements for the Top Muslim Outbound Markets

The GMTI 2023 report indicates that some destinations have streamlined their visa requirements effectively, earning a maximum score of 95. However, the average score of 65 suggests room for improvement in ensuring smoother visa processes for Muslim travelers.

Airports’ Muslim-friendliness

While some airports have excelled in providing Muslim-friendly services, with a maximum score of 100, the report reveals that the average score is only 34. This inconsistency highlights the need for standardization in Muslim-friendliness across different airports.

Air Connectivity to the Top Muslim Outbound Markets

A decent maximum score of 88 is overshadowed by the low average score of 27, indicating a lack of robust air connectivity to key Muslim markets in many destinations. Improved connectivity could significantly enhance the travel experience for Muslim travelers.

Muslim-friendly Accommodation at the Destination

Despite the highest score of 77 in some destinations, the average score of 30 suggests that most destinations are not adequately catering to the demand for Muslim-friendly accommodation options. Enhancing this aspect can foster a more inclusive travel environment.

Transport Infrastructure at the Destination

This touchpoint ranks well, with the second-highest maximum score of 99 and an average score of 67. It signifies that many destinations provide good transport infrastructure, facilitating easier travel for Muslim tourists.

Prayer Places at the Destinations

While a maximum score of 100 is possible, the average score stands at 50, indicating significant room for improvement in the availability and accessibility of prayer places. Ensuring easy access to prayer facilities is essential for a positive travel experience for Muslim visitors.

Halal Dining Options at the Destination

With a maximum score of 95 for some destinations, the average score of 44 suggests that many places need to improve their offerings of Halal food options. Enhancing culinary choices can enhance the overall experience for Muslim travelers.

Hard Touchpoints - Best Practices

Airports - Singapore Changi Airport

Singapore Changi Airport is a prime example of Muslim-friendly facilities and services. The airport offers dedicated prayer rooms with necessary amenities and a diverse range of Halal-certified dining options, creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for Muslim travelers.

Accommodation - Shaza Hotels

Shaza Hotels exhibits a solid commitment to Muslim-friendly accommodation by offering diverse Halal food options, maintaining a Halal environment, prioritizing safety, and providing facilities like private swimming pools and designated prayer rooms. These efforts ensure a seamless experience for Muslim travelers.

Prayer Places - Taiwan

Taiwan, particularly Taipei, excels in providing a Muslim-friendly environment with strategically located prayer facilities. From Taipei Grand Mosque to shopping malls and hotels, Taiwan ensures Muslim travelers can comfortably fulfill their prayer needs while visiting.

Halal Dining - South Africa

South Africa emphasizes halal dining through a wide range of halal-certified restaurants, accommodations, and readily available halal meat. Independent Halal Consultation and Certification Bodies further support this initiative, making South Africa an attractive destination for Muslim travelers.

Key Touchpoints of a Muslim Traveler: An Analysis of the Soft Touchpoints

Destination Marketing

The GMTI report emphasizes the importance of marketing that empathizes with Muslim travelers' unique needs and expectations. While the maximum score is 70, the average score across destinations is only 16, indicating a significant opportunity for improvement in effectively communicating amenities and services catering to Muslim travelers.

Communication Proficiency at the Destination

With a relatively low maximum score of 58 and an average score of 19, there is room for significant improvement in communication proficiency across destinations. Enhancing communication can enhance the overall experience for Muslim travelers.

General Safety for Muslims at the Destination

This touchpoint performs well, with a high maximum score of 96 and a strong average of 78, indicating a consistent level of safety for Muslim travelers across destinations.

Faith Restrictions for Muslims at the Destination

This aspect is promising, with the highest maximum score of 100 and an impressive average of 90. Few destinations have such restrictions, which is positive for Muslim travelers.

Stakeholder Awareness at the Destination

Despite the highest score being 80, the average score is just 19, indicating a significant gap in awareness and understanding among many destinations. Greater effort in education and communication is needed to meet the unique needs of the Muslim traveler market.

Sustainability Initiatives

While the highest score is 68 and the average is 47, many destinations recognize the importance of sustainability and implementing sustainable practices. Aligning with faith traditions of stewardship for the earth, destinations focusing on sustainability may become more attractive to the Muslim travel market.

Soft Touchpoints - Best Practices

Destination Marketing - Malaga

Malaga's tourism authorities, in collaboration with HalalTrip, published a comprehensive halal travel guide, demonstrating their commitment to welcoming and accommodating Muslim travelers. Such initiatives help Muslim visitors navigate the city while meeting their faith-based needs and preferences.

Stakeholder Awareness - Indonesia

Indonesia has enhanced the Muslim-friendly situation by publishing mosque guides and identifying priority destinations for Muslim-friendly infrastructure development. These efforts demonstrate Indonesia's commitment to creating a welcoming environment for Muslim travelers.

Sustainability Initiatives - Japan

Japan leads in sustainable tourism initiatives, focusing on reducing carbon emissions, promoting energy efficiency, and conserving resources. Their efforts in cultural preservation and responsible tourism practices align with the values of many Muslim travelers.


In conclusion, the GMTI 2023 report highlights the evolving landscape of Muslim travel and provides invaluable insights for destinations looking to enhance their appeal to this growing market. By focusing on hard and soft touchpoints and learning from best practices, destinations can create more inclusive and enriching travel experiences for Muslim travelers worldwide. As the travel industry evolves, embracing diversity and catering to unique needs will be key to success.

Visit this link to download the GMTI 2023 full report!

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