The halal tourism industry, which caters to Muslims, has experienced rapid growth in recent years. It caters to Muslim tourists looking for locations such as places of worship, alcohol-free hotels, places that do not serve pork, and more.
In response, many countries are accommodating dietary and religious concerns. One country keeping up with that trend is Malaysia, which has maintained its position as the best destination for Muslim travellers even amid the pandemic.
Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, Malaysia has maintained its reputation as the leading destination for Muslim travellers. According to the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2022, the country ranked #1 for Muslim-friendly holiday destinations.
With the majority of its population being Muslim, Malaysia has a wide variety of halal restaurants and many tourism-related activities that do not conflict with Islamic values. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia are in second place; and Singapore is the top Muslim-friendly travel destination among non-Organisation of Islamic Cooperation destinations, followed by Taiwan, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.
GMTI 2022 has ranked 138 destinations on how to leverage the Muslim travel market to speed recovery, according to CrescentRating & HalalTrip founder and CEO, Fazal Bahardeen.
Muslim traveller arrivals topped 160 million in 2019 and are expected to fall to 140 million in 2023, after the disruption in 2020 and 2021. It is expected to reach 160 million in 2024. The GMTI, according to Fazal, monitors the health and growth of Muslim-friendly tourism locations in four key areas: access, communications, the environment, and services.
Gen Z, millennials, and women are the most prominent and increasing demographics in the Muslim population. Women travellers represent one of the fastest-growing segments in the Muslim travel market.
Malaysia has topped the GMTI since the index’s debut in 2015.