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Muslim Cruise Market Analysis: Setting Sail on Sharia-Compliant Seas | Muslim-friendly Cruise Report 2024

Mar 2024

The global tourism industry is witnessing a fascinating trend–the rise of Halal cruises. This niche market caters to Muslim travelers seeking vacation experiences that align with their faith-based needs. A recent report by Mastercard-CrescentRating, the "Muslim-Friendly Cruise Report 2024," sheds light on this burgeoning sector and its promising future.

Aligning with Faith: The Halal Cruise Concept

The global Halal tourism market is booming, projected to reach a staggering 230 million arrivals and generate an expenditure of USD 225 billion by 2028 (Source: Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index 2023). Recognizing this growth, the concept of Halal cruises has emerged to cater to Muslim travelers' specific needs. This market segment aligns with CrescentRating's "Muslim Traveler faith-based service needs" model, ensuring services and amenities that resonate with Muslim travelers' values.

Quantifying Demand: An Analysis of the Muslim Cruise Market

Data reveals a surge in Muslim cruise passengers. From 2019 to 2023, numbers jumped significantly, exceeding pre-pandemic levels in 2023. This trend is projected to continue, with certain estimates that reflect a growing and increasingly important segment of the cruise market.

Muslim Cruise Market: Riding a Wave of Growth

The data paints a clear picture–Muslim travelers are increasingly embracing cruises. From 2019 to 2023, the number of Muslim cruise passengers witnessed a significant jump. While 2022 saw a strong recovery with 640,000 passengers (75% of 2019 levels), estimates suggest 2023 surpassed pre-pandemic figures, reaching close to 1 million passengers. This upward trend is projected to continue, with projections suggesting a staggering 2.8 million Muslim cruise passengers by 2027, reflecting a growing demand in this market segment.

Proportion on the Rise: Muslim Travelers Make Up a Larger Share

The share of Muslim passengers within the total cruise market is also undergoing a notable shift. Between 2019 and 2023, Muslim travelers constituted approximately 3-4% of all cruisegoers. However, this is estimated to reach around 7% by 2027, reflecting a growing demand for Muslim-friendly cruises. The Middle East is a prime example – here, Muslim cruise passengers surged by 38% in 2022 compared to 2019. This surge is likely fueled by cruise lines increasingly offering services such as Halal food options and dedicated prayer facilities, making cruises more appealing to Muslim travelers.

Unlocking Potential: Opportunities for the Cruise Industry

This upward trend presents a significant opportunity for the cruise industry. To capitalize on this, cruise lines should focus on two key areas: enhancing Muslim-friendly amenities and services, and intensifying marketing efforts towards the Muslim travel market. Catering to the specific needs and preferences of Muslim travelers, from Halal dining options to dedicated prayer spaces, will be crucial in sustaining and accelerating this growth.

Smooth Sailing: Recovery Trends in Top 3 Muslim Cruise Markets of Southeast Asia

While global cruise travel rebounds surpass pre-pandemic levels, the top 3 ASEAN Muslim markets (Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia) are leading the charge. Passenger numbers in these regions showcase a robust demand for cruises within this demographic.

ASEAN Muslim Markets: Leading the Recovery Charge

The global cruise market has witnessed a remarkable recovery, surpassing pre-pandemic passenger levels by an estimated 6% in 2023 (Source: Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)). However, the top 3 ASEAN markets have outperformed the global average with estimated passenger numbers in 2023 surpassing 2019 figures by a substantial 56%, reflecting a robust demand and increasing appeal of cruises in these regions.

Muslim Travelers in ASEAN: A Key Demographic

The positive outlook extends to the Muslim community within these ASEAN markets.  The estimated number of Muslim cruise passengers in these regions has also grown, with an estimated 8% increase over 2019 levels by 2023. This highlights the growing interest in cruise vacations among Muslim travelers in ASEAN, solidifying them as a key demographic within this market segment.

Conclusion: A Positive Outlook for Halal Cruises

The global and ASEAN Muslim cruise markets have not only recovered from the pandemic but emerged stronger. The ASEAN Muslim markets, in particular, show outstanding growth. This positive trend underscores the potential for further expansion in the Halal cruise sector. By catering to the diverse needs of this rapidly growing segment, the cruise industry can unlock a wealth of new opportunities and ensure smooth sailing for years to come.

For more information regarding Mastercard-Crescentrating Muslim-friendly Cruise Report 2024, please visit this link right here!

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