Travel TrendsIndonesia and Malaysia remain top contenders, while fast-rising destinations include Taiwan, UK and Japan, according to new report.

Where are the world's most Muslim-friendly destinations?

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The Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2022 report projects that spending by the Muslim travel market will reach US$225 billion by 2028.
The Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2022 report projects that spending by the Muslim travel market will reach US$225 billion by 2028. Photo Credit: GettyImages/ferlistockphoto

Like many other segments, the global Muslim travel segment is poised for a swift recovery in the coming months and quarters.

The 7th edition of the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2022 projects that, after a two-year disruption, Muslim traveller arrivals will reach 140 million in 2023 and rebound to 160 million by 2024, equalling 2019 figures.

The report also estimates that Muslim visitor arrivals will reach 230 million by 2028, with an estimated expenditure of US$225 billion.

Launched at the recent Halal In Travel Global Summit 2022, the GMTI 2022 ranked 138 destinations around the world according to how prepared they are in leveraging the Muslim travel market.

Overall, Malaysia remained the most Muslim traveller-friendly in the GMTI 2022, closely followed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia in joint second position, while the UAE came in third. Singapore, in ninth place, is still the only non-OIC country to make it to the top 20 of the GMTI
2022 rankings.

Among destinations who are not members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the top four remained the same – Singapore, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and Thailand in chronological order, while Hong Kong nabbed the fifth position.

Recognising the potentials of the Muslim travel market, non-OIC countries are making innovative efforts to attract Muslim visitors. APAC countries such as the US and Taiwan showcased their tourism initiatives during the Halal In Travel Global Summit 2022.

Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company, the official destination marketing organisation and convention and visitors bureau for the five boroughs of New York City, spoke about NYC’s new centralised resource for locals and visitors, the Halal Travel Guide, the first-ever released by a US tourism organisation highlighting Muslim-friendly establishments.

Meanwhile, Abe Chou, Taiwan Tourism Bureau Kuala Lumpur office director shared the country’s "Salam Taiwan" campaign that highlights over 170 restaurant and hotels with relevant certifications and more than a dozen national scenic spots upgraded with Muslim-friendly facilities.

More details on the GMTI rankings below.

GMTI 2022 Top 10 Muslim-friendly destinations
1. Malaysia
2. Indonesia
2. Saudi Arabia
2. Turkey
5. UAE
6. Qatar
7. Iran
7. Jordan
9. Bahrain
9. Singapore
9. Uzbekistan

GMTI 2022 Top 10 Muslim-friendly non-OIC destinations
1. Singapore
2. Taiwan
3. Thailand
3. UK
5. Hong Kong
6. Japan
6. South Africa
8. Philippines
8. United States
10. Australia

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