The global Muslim travel sector will contribute US$183 billion by 2020, compared to US$148 billion in 2017, according to the ‘Global Economic Impact of Muslim Tourism and Future Growth Projection: 2017-2020’ report by Salam Standard.
Salam Standard is a hotel classification system which ranks and audits properties by the Muslim-friendly facilities and services they offer. Its CEO Faeez Fadhlillah also owns tripfez.com, a consumer online travel agent for Muslim travellers. Muslim travel and halal-friendly travel cover the same areas of interest.
The report states that the impetus for Muslim tourism is coming from Asia, both in inbound and outbound.
When it comes to outbound, travellers from Malaysia, Indonesia and China are expected to contribute a combined 17% of the total global spend by 2020. In 2017, travellers from the Middle East accounted for more than 60% the majority of global outbound spend.
Muslim travel is already a big part of the global travel industry and is likely to get bigger, with research showing that in 2060 there will be 3 billion Muslims in the world, equivalent to one-third of the world’s population.
In the short-term, destinations need to ensure they are Muslim-friendly or at least have enough information available so that Muslim travellers can make informed decisions.
Muslim millennials from the three big Asian outbound markets of Indonesia, China, and Malaysia want to visit places that do not have a Muslim majority. Travellers from Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the biggest spenders on outbound Muslim travel.
On inbound Muslim tourist spend, the Middle East received US$30.5 billion in 2017, with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Turkey the top three recipients. The figure is projected to rise to US$36.8 billion by 2020. Saudi Arabia relies on Muslim travellers the most for total inbound tourism.