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at­tract­ing Mus­lim trav­ellers.

GMTI stated Asia as the ideal re­gion for Mus­lim vis­i­tors in terms of at­trac­tive­ness with an av­er­age GMTI score of 57.6.

Africa came in sec­ond scor­ing 47, fol­lowed by Ocea­nia (43.8), Europe (39.9) and the Amer­i­cas (33.7), re­vealed GMTI.

GMTI 2017, which is con­ducted by Mastercard-Cres­cen­tRat­ing, ex­pects the global Mus­lim travel mar­ket’s growth to touch US$220 bil­lion (RM950 bil­lion) by the year 2020.

“With an over­all ex­pen­di­ture of around US$155 bil­lion (RM670 bil­lion) in 2016, the Mus­lim travel mar­ket re­mains a strong driver for the con­tin­ued growth in travel across the world.

“At Mastercard, we’re com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing the growth of this seg­ment and are work­ing with our part­ners to con­stantly de­velop new and in­no­va­tive pro­grammes and of­fer­ings for Mus­lim con­sumers,” said In­done­sia, Malaysia and Brunei Mastercard di­vi­sion pres­i­dent Saf­dar Khan.

Mus­lim vis­i­tors rep­re­sented 10 per cent of the en­tire travel econ­omy, mak­ing the Mus­lim travel mar­ket an im­por­tant sec­tor to all des­ti­na­tions.

In the sur­vey, the Mus­lim travel mar­ket is ex­pected to grow up to US$300 bil­lion (RM1,295 bil­lion) by 2026.

Ac­cord­ing to Cres­cen­tRat­ing and HalalTrip chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Fazal Ba­hard­een, the in­ter­est to travel among the Mus­lim com­mu­nity was due to growing num­bers of young trav­ellers want­ing to ex­plore the world but still ad­hered to their faith-based needs.

“These younger trav­ellers want greater choices, unique ex­pe­ri­ences and con­stant con­nec­tiv­ity in line with the growth of other Mus­lim life­style seg­ments, such as Ha­lal food and mod­est fash­ion,” said Fazal.

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