Magazine article The Middle East

Travelog: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta: Muslims Have a Long Established Passion for Travel, Extending Back to the Intrepid Explorers Such as Ibn Battuta and Ahmed Ibn Majid Who Helped to Map the World for Future Generations. the 21st Century Tourism Industry Is Just Starting to Wake Up to This Affluent Sector

Magazine article The Middle East

Travelog: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta: Muslims Have a Long Established Passion for Travel, Extending Back to the Intrepid Explorers Such as Ibn Battuta and Ahmed Ibn Majid Who Helped to Map the World for Future Generations. the 21st Century Tourism Industry Is Just Starting to Wake Up to This Affluent Sector

Article excerpt

MUSLIMS ARE PREDICTED TO MAKE UP almost one in three of the world's population by 2025, and increasing numbers of well heeled, well-educated followers of Islam are already seeking out goods and services that meet their religious needs when travelling.

Global revenue from Muslim tourists is expected to rise 4.8% annually over the next eight years compared to a global average of 3.8% according to research by Muslim-specialists Crescent Rating and DinarStandard.

In their recent report, Global Muslim Lifestyle Travel Market: Landscape & Consumer Needs, presented at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London in November, noted that Muslims spent $126bn, during their travels in 2011. In 2020, the corresponding figure will reach $192bn.

This expenditure accounts for 12.3% of the total global of outbound tourism expenditure in 2011, which amounted to $1,034bn in total, according to World Tourism Organisation estimates.

Comparatively, the international Muslim tourism market as a whole is larger than the largest single spending tourist market in the world--Germany--and almost twice that of China's in 2011.

The study, which compared Muslims' experiences in 47 countries--but did not include religious travel during Hajj and Umrah--found that tourists from the Middle East and North Africa account for around 60% of total global Muslim outbound expenditure, with Saudi Arabia comprising the largest number of individuals, followed by Iran, UAE, Indonesia and Kuwait. Muslim communities living in non-Muslim countries also have a sizeable outbound tourism expenditure share. The largest of these markets are to be found in Germany, Russia, France and UK.

Malaysia continues to attract the largest number of Muslim visitors, even during Ramadan; the capital Kuala Lumpur has introduced an "Arab Street" to make tourists from the Middle East feel at home and Arab investors have spent more than $300m building two "Arab cities" in Malacca. Turkey and the UAE are the next most popular followed by Singapore, Russia, China France, Thailand and Italy.

The report cited Emirates, Malaysia and Thai Airways as three of the most successful airlines at catering to Muslim needs. Even in Muslim majority destinations, hotels/resorts such as De Palma Group of Hotels in Malaysia, Al Jawhara Hotel in Dubai, Amer Group of Resorts in Egypt and Ciragan Palace Kempinski Hotel in Turkey are offering specific Muslim lifestyle focussed services. In Thailand, spa-outlets have introduced the concept of Muslim-friendly spas in a bid to lure tourists from the Middle East and Global Health City, in Chennai, India, has undergone Halal certification to better serve its growing medical tourists.

Airports in Munich, Thailand and Turkey were singled out by the survey for their successful implementation of Muslim-friendly environments.

Now non-Islamic countries such as Australia are also waking up to this group of tourists, offering special Ramadan packages.

When looking at what was most important when travelling, Muslim tourists cited the availability of halal food (70%), family friendly environments and gender sensitive programmes and facilities, in swimming polls, health spas ecetera (49%), as some of the most important deciding factors when choosing where to go on holiday. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.