Global Muslim Travel Index 2017 shows Qatar is one of top 10 Muslim-friendly tourist destinations among 48 OIC member countries included in the survey.
The report released by Mastercard-CrescentRating has ranked as many as 130 destinations including 48 OIC destinations and 82 non-OIC destinations.
Qatar secured 70.5 scores in the criteria set to choose Muslim friendly tourist destinations having various considerations like visa requirements; Muslim traveler needs awareness; family-friendly destination; dining options & Halal assurance; access to prayer places and many more.
Qatar stands at number 6 among 48 OIC countries for its Muslim friendly tourism facilities.
Other countries in this list include Malaysia 82.5 (score), the UAE 76.9, Indonesia 72.6, Turkey 72.4, Saudi Arabia 71.4, Qatar 70.5, Morocco 68.1, Oman 67.9 and Bahrain 67.9.
The top 10 Muslim-friendly tourist destinations in non-OIC countries category are Singapore 67.3, Thailand 61.8, the UK 60.0, South Africa 53.6, Hong Kong 53.2, Japan 52.8, Taiwan 52.4, France 52.1, Spain 48.8 and the US 48.6.
CrescentRating uses insights, industry intelligence, lifestyle, behavior and research on the needs of the Muslim traveler to deliver authoritative guidance on all aspects of Halal travel to organizations across the globe.
Founded in 2008, CrescentRating services “are used by every tier of the tourism industry, from government bodies and tourism agencies to hospitality service providers, to better serve the needs of the Muslim traveller”.
The report further points out that in 2016, it was estimated that there were 121 million Muslim international travelers. “This is projected to grow to 156 million by 2020, where the travel expenditure by Muslim travelers is expected to reach $220bn. It is also projected that total Muslim travel expenditure will reach $300bn by 2026,” the report says.
GMTI 2017 looks at four key strategic areas – Access, Communications, Environment and Services – which have been further divided into 11 sub-criteria. This highlights the aspects that a destinations needs to look at to improve in order to become a more Muslim friendly travel destination.
In “Access” area, there are two sub-criteria; air connectivity and visa requirements. In “Communications” area, come sub-criteria including Muslim traveler needs awareness & outreach and ease of communication. For “Environment”, sub-criteria are family-friendly destination, Muslim traveler and general safety and Muslim visitor arrivals. In the last area of “Services”, sub-criteria include dining options & Halal assurance, access to prayer places, airport facilities and accommodation options.
The report also sheds light on “Mega Trends in Muslim Consumer Market”, saying that the Halal food industry continues to be one of the key drivers in the Muslim consumer market.
The report further reveals that the demand for Halal pharmaceuticals and cosmetics continues to grow, with more products being created to serve the unique health and wellness lifestyle needs of Muslims.
Originally published on www.thepeninsulaqatar.com