The forward to the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index 2023 report by Fazal Bahardeen, Founder and CEO, CrescentRating & HalalTrip.
As we navigate global travel’s dynamic and ever-evolving landscape, we are pleased to present the 8th edition of the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2023 report. Our annual report continues to provide vital insights into the Muslim travel market, a segment that demonstrates robust growth and resilience in the face of global challenges.
This year, we have enhanced our report by adding new features and providing more analysis. One of the new features we have included is the HalalTrip Muslim Travel Intent Tracker (MTIT), a unique tool that helps us understand the travel intentions of Muslim travelers over time. We will monitor this metric monthly to provide an overview of the Muslim traveler community’s changing travel trends and preferences.
We are also excited to introduce the HalalTrip Responsible Tourism Framework this year. We have designed this framework to assist Muslim travelers in adopting sustainable and responsible travel practices that align with their faith. It also provides practical tips for preserving cultural heritage, boosting local economies, and promoting environmental sustainability in line with global tourism industry initiatives.
The GMTI 2023 ranking once again provides a comprehensive look at the performance of destinations in catering to Muslim travelers. Indonesia has caught up again with Malaysia to claim the joint top position this year. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, and Qatar follow them. Among the non-OIC destinations, the top 4 are Singapore, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, and Thailand. This year, we have also identified the top Muslim Women-friendly destinations.
The newly introduced GMTI Performance Matrix (GPM) offers a unique perspective on the interplay between the GMTI scores and the proportion of Muslim visitors to the overall visitors in each destination. This tool will assist destinations in formulating strategies to enhance their appeal and services for Muslim travelers. We also shed light on the highlights and opportunities at the key touchpoints of a Muslim Traveler's journey.
In 2022, 110 million Muslim international visitors accounted for 12% of all international arrivals. This is a considerable growth, equivalent to nearly 68% of the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019. We predict that Muslim traveler arrivals will rise to 140 million in 2023 and recover to the pre-pandemic levels of 160 million in 2024. We project that Muslim arrivals will reach 230 million by 2028, with an estimated expenditure of USD 225 Billion.
With our long-term partner, Mastercard, we continue to dive deep into Muslim demographics and the travel market, highlighting the importance of understanding this diverse, vibrant, and influential segment. Our data and insights aim to equip stakeholders with the knowledge and tools to cater to Muslim travelers' unique needs and preferences, an effort that will benefit the Muslim travel market and the broader travel industry.
The GMTI 2023 report is an indispensable resource for those in the travel industry, providing crucial insights and strategies to tap into the Muslim travel market. We firmly believe this report will equip all travel and tourism industry stakeholders with a comprehensive understanding of the Halal tourism landscape, enabling them to capitalize on the myriad opportunities the thriving Muslim travel sector presents.
Visit this link to download the GMTI 2023 full report!