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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia tops the ranks once again for being the most Muslim friendly nation for tourists.
This is the second consecutive year that Malaysia has been in the number one spot for halal travel in the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI).
The MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index 2016 covered 130 destinations – including 92 non-Muslim countries – to benchmark how destinations are catering to the Muslim travel market.
Malaysia scored 81.9 out of hundred in the index. The United Arab Emirates is in second place with a score of 74.7 with Turkey in third spot with 73.9. Indonesia was in fourth spot with a score of 70.6. Singapore scored 68.4.
The study reveals that there were an estimated 117 million Muslim visitor arrivals globally, representing almost 10% of the entire travel market, according to CrescentRating.
The study forecasts Muslim visitor arrivals to reach 186 million by 2020, with a market value exceeding US$200 billion.
The CEO of CrescentRating and HalalTrip, Fazal Bahardeen, said: “One of the biggest trends we are seeing is non-OIC destinations making a concerted effort to attract the Muslim tourist and they now represent over 63% of the destinations covered in the GMTI.
“For example, Japan and the Philippines have taken some major steps over the last few months to diversify their visitor arrivals and boost their economy in the process.”
All 130 destinations in the GMTI were scored against a backdrop of criteria that included suitability as a family holiday destination, the level of services and facilities it provides, accommodation options, marketing initiatives as well as visitor arrivals.
Top 10 Muslim Friendly Destinations (Muslim countries):
2. United Arab Emirates
6. Saudi Arabia
Top 10 Muslim Friendly Destinations (non-Muslim countries):