Recognizing the diverse needs of different groups of travelers in a world increasingly interconnected through travel is essential. The Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2023 Report, composed by Mastercard-CrescentRating, takes a bold step forward by introducing a new category: Muslim Women Friendly destinations. This groundbreaking addition underscores the importance of tailoring travel experiences to cater to Muslim women travelers' specific needs and preferences.
Muslim women constitute a significant portion of the global Muslim travel market, with their influence extending far beyond their own journeys. According to the Mastercard-CrescentRating Muslim Women in Travel (MWIT) 2019 report, over 45% of Muslim travelers are women. This statistic highlights that Muslim women play a pivotal role in trip planning, whether traveling with family, in groups, or solo.
Interestingly, Muslim women travelers wield the most influence when their journeys involve their family and spouses. Whether as daughters, mothers, or spouses, they exert almost twice as much influence on trip planning as when traveling with others. This influence extends to solo and women's group travel, a growing sector before the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to continue flourishing as travel restarts.
Hence, the GMTI acknowledges the importance of creating a dedicated Muslim women-friendly destination category, ensuring this influential group's hospitable and inclusive travel experience.
To assess the overall experience of Muslim women travelers, the GMTI considers various factors within the Environmental criteria of the ACES model. These factors include faith restrictions, general safety, sustainability, and other relevant indicators. Destinations can enhance their services by considering the specific needs of Muslim women travelers, such as ensuring safety and security, providing suitable prayer facilities, and accommodating cultural sensitivities.
By embracing the diversity and needs of Muslim women travelers, destinations have a unique opportunity to tap into a growing market segment and establish themselves as leaders in providing exceptional experiences for this valuable group of travelers.
Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Portugal, Vietnam, Andorra, and the UK are the top 10 Muslim-Women Friendly destinations in the non-OIC category.
Notably, destinations like Japan, South Korea, and Portugal score high in sustainability, indicating their dedication to responsible tourism. Despite lower general safety scores, the United Kingdom maintains its top 10 standing, bolstered by its high GMTI score. These non-OIC destinations have succeeded in fostering welcoming, safe, and respectful environments for Muslim women travelers. In upcoming editions of the GMTI, the list will expand to cover the ranking of more destinations.
Malaysia, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Brunie, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, and Jordan are the top 10 Muslim-Women Friendly destinations in the OIC category.
Other OIC destinations like Brunei, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Jordan offer strong safety and faith-based offerings, though slightly lower in overall scores than the top five. This illustrates the evolving landscape of Muslim women travelers within OIC destinations and the growing recognition of their distinct needs and preferences.
These destinations collectively provide comfortable, secure, and faith-friendly environments for Muslim women travelers. High levels of general safety and the absence of faith restrictions indicate a profound respect for and understanding of faith practices and culture, which is crucial for Muslim-friendly destinations.
The P.A.I.N.S - Privacy, Amenities, Identity, Networks & Safety - model identified in the Mastercard-CrescentRating Muslim Women in Travel (MWIT) 2019 report pinpoints unique concerns that stakeholders should address.
The MWIT Affinity Impact Model, as proposed in the MWIT 2019 report, highlights how a deep understanding of Muslim women travelers can positively impact the travel industry. By understanding their profiles, facilitating their trip planning behaviors, and addressing the P.A.I.N.S they face, the travel industry can activate these travelers to explore the world, engage with social issues, and inspire others.
The Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2023 Report introduces a new era of travel awareness by recognizing and celebrating Muslim women travelers' unique needs and preferences. As destinations worldwide embrace this diversity and cater to this influential group, the travel industry stands to benefit from newfound niche markets, ultimately creating a more diverse and holistic travel ecosystem.
Visit this link to download the GMTI 2023 full report!