Millennials, Gen Z drive Muslim travel
WITH the rapid proliferation of enabling online technologies, increasing reliance on internet and social media to discover new destinations and travel bookings, as well rise market provides a positive outlook for the and Generation Z expected to drive online travel expenditure to exceed US$180 billion by 2026.
- als, the Mastercard-Crescentrating Digital Muslim Travel Report con-
segment. From 25 million visitors in 2000 to 131 million Muslim
2017, the report predicts that there will be 158 million Muslim tourists by 2020, and will continue to rise.
“The Halal travel market continues to be one of the fastest growing travel segments globally, with Muslim visitor arrivals representing about 10 percent of the entire travel industry globally in 2017. Muslim travelers are spending more time online researching and comparing information
for their ideal travel experience,” said Mastercard vice president for market development Devesh Kuwadekar.
The report also expects Muslim travelers to spend US$ 300 Billion by 2026; about US$180 billion will be from online travel expenditure of Muslim millennial travelers. The report indicated that more than 60 percent of Muslim travelers were either millennials or Gen Z.
The Mastercard-Crescentrating Digital Muslim Travel Report uncovered that online sites and tools played key roles. Beyond just a mere channel services, the digital space is proving to play an integral role in enabling Muslims to better plan and experience their travels, taking in to consideration their faith based needs.
Based on their online travel patterns, purchasing behavior and lifestyle, young Muslim travelers take Authenticity (allowing them to discover destination and try lo-
Affordability (reasonable priced accommodation, transport and experiences) and Accessibility (to technology, information and sharing) in planning their travel itineraries.
With Millennials leading most of the usage, other generations are also displaying similar behavioral patterns in the usage of online tools in planning and booking their trips. Similar to Millennials, these groups have turned to the use of digital technologies that can both empower them as well as enhance their journeys. They are also turning to social networking services to stay connected and share their stories in their own unique ways with family and friends.
The report indicated the top 30 Muslim outbound markets, clustered into distinct clusters. They represent 90 per cent of the overall Muslim visitor arrivals. Infographic from the Mastercard- Crescentrating Digital Muslim Travel Report
Cluster A, composed of large outbound Markets with a high level of digital enablement, includes Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates which are regions with large Muslim populations with a high per-capita GDP. These countries allow a high percentage of travelers to travel internationally. Majority of the residents in these countries are digital savvy and have access to the latest digital infrastructures. These are the main markets that online travel businesses should focus on as they are online shopping natives, ideally suited for online content marketing and transactions.
Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, Tunisia,
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, UK, Germany, France, Singapore and Russia fall into Cluster B, which has high level of digital enablement but with smaller outbound markets. These are countries with residents who are digital savvy and have access to the latest digital infrastructure but the population of Muslims in these countries are smaller as compared to those in Cluster A.
Oman, Albania, Morocco and China make up this cluster. They have good digital infrastructures but still small outbound Muslim travel markets.
Emerging growth markets with fast growing levels of digital enable-
- ter D. These are majority Muslim countries with a growing outbound travel market. Even though they may not have widespread digital infrastructure yet, businesses can look at these markets as medium to long term prospects since they can potentially translate to larger online travel markets with the digital enablement in the near future.
smaller markets with low levels of digital enablement fall under this
Kirgizstan, Nigeria, Algeria, Ban- “The DMTR2018 reveals important online behavior and preferences
tourism destinations, tour operators, airlines and other tourism and hospitality stakeholders with insights of online platforms and social networking services to evaluate the potential within the Muslim market. Destinations need to ensure that their messages reach Muslim travelers through online channels. This report gives the industry a practical and ready segmentation criterion to empathize with different demographics. Digital is real and transcends generations,” concluded CrescentRating and HalalTrip CEO Fazal Bahardeen.