Singapore, June 16th, 2016 – Many destinations will see an impact on visitor arrivals from the growing trend by Muslims to travel during the fasting period, according to new research released today by MasterCard and CrescentRating.
India is ranked at 44 for the year 2016 but it will improve to 24 in 2030 due to changing of weather and reducing the fasting duration. India was ranked at 38 in previous report on Global Muslim Travel Index 2016.
With Ramadan set to occur from June to February during the next 15 years, different regions across the world will become attractive destinations for Muslim travelers according to data and analysis from the inaugural MasterCard-CrescentRating Ramadan Travel Report 2016.
A total of 50 destinations including India across the globe were analyzed in the study and benchmarked across three criteria – average daytime temperature, fasting duration and Global Muslim Travel Index 2016 scores – over the next 15 years until 2030.
It is the first ever report of its kind to provide destinations and businesses in the tourism industry with useful insights on how they can develop medium to long-term strategies to attract and cater to Muslim travelers during Ramadan over the coming years.
In the years from now until 2020, Malaysia is ranked the top destination in the list followed by Indonesia while Singapore came third. The research identified a number of reasons why Malaysia topped the table including climate and marketing strategies to attract Muslim tourists.
With Ramadan set to take place in cooler months from 2023, destinations in the Middle East such as the UAE, Qatar and Oman will become an attractive proposition for Muslim travelers. The report also showed that Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia could also benefit from this trend.
Consequently this trend will see non-OIC countries and Southeast Asia become less attractive destinations resulting in a drop in visitor arrivals from 2030.
“Ramadan travel has been largely ignored by the industry despite the growing trend in the last few years,” said Fazal Bahardeen CEO of CrescentRating & HalalTrip.
“However, the report has revealed some very interesting insights especially for countries in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Muslims traveling in Ramadan is becoming a reality and one which can benefit countries, through strategic destination marketing and planning by the tourism authorities.
“As one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in the world, the Muslim travel market brings tremendous opportunities. An increasing number of governments are boosting their efforts to attract more Muslim visitors to their countries. With travel during Ramadan also expected to grow in the next decade.
Six key drivers have been identified in the report to be contributing to the increasing number of Muslims traveling during Ramadan. These include the growing number of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, business travel, spending Ramadan with family, experiencing Ramadan in a different environment and culture, celebrating Eid with family and extreme weather conditions or duration of fasting.
The report also takes into account the special place that Makkah and Medina (Saudi Arabia) hold as the top destinations from a religious perspective, irrespective of the three criteria used for this analysis. As such, the Kingdom is excluded from the ranking and has been addressed separately on how Ramadan travel can help boost efforts towards achieving Vision 2030.