One of the fastest-growing areas of the global tourism market is Muslim travel — or halal tourism — with hotels and tour operators increasingly trying to meet the dietary and religious needs of Muslim travellers. Many countries, whether Muslim or not, are eager to attract these travellers, thanks to a growing middle class and rising disposable income.
Recently, Malaysia, which offers Muslim-friendly facilities and services, topped the list of best Muslim-friendly holiday destinations for Muslim travellers, according to the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2021. Given the potential of this segment, Malaysia is eager to work with the travel industry in Indonesia and Thailand to develop a common set of Muslim-friendly tourism standards in hopes of attracting more Muslim visitors to these countries.
It’s an interesting approach, and one that will benefit millions of travellers in the region.
These three countries have the potential to appeal to a greater segment of Muslim tourists – Malaysia and Indonesia rank among the top five Muslim-friendly tourist destinations in the Global Muslim Travel Index 2021, while Thailand is among the top five non-OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) countries deemed Muslim-friendly. The initiative, proposed by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC), will enhance cooperation within the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT).
What makes Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand attractive is that they have rich resources in terms of beautiful and attractive natural landscapes, unique culture, history and world-renowned heritage sites, delicious cuisine, warm and wonderful hospitality, and exciting events with the potential to draw the interests of not only conventional tourists, but also the lucrative Muslim tourist market.