Jamek Mosque, Kuala Lumpur
Apparently, the Muslim travel market is growing at a rapid speed, with 121 million global visits in the year 2016. And without a doubt, Asia remains the top destination in the world when it comes to Muslim tourists with an average Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) score of 57.6. The Mastercard-Crescent Rating also declared Malaysia as the most visited Muslim tourist destination in Asia, whereas the neighbouring country, Indonesia secured the third position.
The other top five destinations preferred by Muslim travellers in 2016 included Singapore, Thailand, the UK, South Africa and Hong Kong. Spain also made it to the top at 10 of the Index, while Japan secured for itself the 7th position. Other regions with high GMTI included Africa with 47.0, followed by Oceania (43.8), Europe (39.9) and the Americas (33.7). The GMTI included 130 destinations that were rated on four key strategic criteria – access, communications, environment and services.
The Index clearly pointed out a number of non-Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations in Asia that have performed better in terms of services to cater to the Muslim travel market, which is estimated to be worth US$220bil (RM952.6bil) by the year, 2020 and shall further grow a further US$80bil (RM346.4bil) to reach US$300bil (RM1.3 trillion) by the year, 2026.