The main criteria taken into account in the ranking includes its suitability as a family holiday destinations, the level of services and facilities it provides for Muslim travelers and the marketing initiatives of the destination targeting this segnment.
By Sharique Anwer,
In a most comprehensive research released by the “MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index” in 2015, India has been ranked among top 20 non- organization of Islamic Cooperation (non-OIC) destinations for the year 2015. India secured 14th position among the top 20 destinations in which Singapore has topped the list. In the category of Organization of Islamic cooperation (OIC) Malaysia came 1st for the fifth consecutive year since its inception in 2011.
Surprisingly, India slipped 8th position below its previous rank in 2014. India was ranked 6th, 5th and 6th among top 10 ‘Halal destinations’ for Muslim visitors in the non-OIC category in the year 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.
The study also revealed that in 2014, the ‘Halal Muslim Travel Industry’ was worth $145 billion, with 108 million Muslim travelers representing 10% of the entire travel economy. This is forecasted to grow to 150 million visitors by 2020 and 11% of the market with an expenditure projected to grow to $200 billion. Among them, India welcomed 1.4 million Muslim visitors in 2014 period which accounts for 20% of the total arrivals to the country.
The CrescentRating is the world’s leading authority on Halal friendly travel. The company had started ranking destinations based on ‘Halal travel’ for Muslims since 2011. For the year 2015, the CrescentRating partnered with MasterCard to rank a total of 100 destinations comprising of OIC and non-OIC countries and it released “Global Muslim Travel Index” (GMTI) for the year 2015 in February this year.
The main criteria taken into account in the ranking includes its suitability as a family holiday destinations, the level of services and facilities it provides for Muslim travelers and the marketing initiatives of the destination targeting this segment.
The GMTI 2015 looks at nine criteria that contribute to the overall index score for each destination.
The Global Muslim travel Index score for India is 44.2 and overall GMTI rank of India is 40 among 100 countries.
Breakup of the score of all nine criteria and its score respectively is as follows:
Holiday Family Destination – 58.8
Safe Travel environment score – 68.5
Visitor Arrivals Score – 18.1
Dining options and assurance score – 43.0
Ease of access to prayer spaces score – 50
Airport Facilities score – 46.7
Accommodations Options score – 32.1
Ease of Communication score – 43.0
Muslim Travel needs awareness and reach out – 23.0.
India is a non-OIC country, but, India is home to the third largest Muslim populated country in the world after Indonesia. Also, India has very rich history of Islamic culture, Architecture and offers one of its best kinds of food in the world. The country boasts some of the important Muslim pilgrimage site in the world and its rich history of Sufism tradition. Besides the historical sites related to Islam, India has rich and one of the oldest civilizations on earth with many religions in its fold with equal love and affection showing great beauty of the country.
The study provides great insights for government, travel companies and the visitors with detailed analysis of the availability of Halal food, beverages, restaurants and finance services etc. These insights provide an extensive details of the Muslim travel market and it is beneficial to all those in the hospitality sector. By using the GMTI index, the country will get a chance to improve their services and facilities for the travelers in this segment and use the report to provide desired services in order to woo Muslim travelers.