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Malaysia, Singapore rank as top destinations by global halal travelers
May 14, 2017, 5:10 pm

The annual 'Global Muslim Travel Index' (GTMI), compiled by international credit-card issuer Mastercard, and CrescentRating, a leading authority on global halal travel, has once-again ranked Malaysia as the top destination for travelers to Muslim countries, while Singapore was ranked the best by travelers going to non-Muslim countries.

Malaysia, with an index score of score of 82.5 clinched the top spot, ahead of the United Arab Emirates (76.9), Indonesia (72.6), Turkey (72.4) and Saudi Arabia (71.4), among travelers going to  Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries.

Meanwhile, among non-OIC countries, Singapore took the top spot with an index score of 67.3, followed by Thailand (61.8), United Kingdom (60.0), South Africa (53.6) and Hong Kong (53.2).

The GMTI for 2017, which covered a total of 130 countries to benchmark destinations in the Muslim travel market, contained several new and updated insights on halal travel and tourism market.

The index showed that a number of non-OIC destinations in Asia moved up the rankings; a result of the concerted effort to adapt their services to cater to and attract the Muslim travel market.

The rankings saw Hong Kong make up the top five for the non-OIC destinations, with Japan moving up two places to take the sixth spot with Spain entering the top 10 for the first time and Singapore remaining the only non-OIC destination in the overall top 10.

Over and above, Indonesia, Japan and Taiwan saw the biggest improvements in ranking on the overall top 10 list.

The research showed that the Muslim travel market would continue to grow at a fast pace with the sector estimated to grow to US$220 billion in 2020 and expected to grow a further $80 billion, to reach US$300 billion by 2026.

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