Millennial, Gen Z Muslim travellers driving a US$180 billion online travel market: report

By Muneerah Bee

The increasing reliance on the internet, social media and smartphones for place discovery and travel bookings by Muslim Millennials and Generation Z is driving a US$180 billion online market.

The Mastercard-CrescentRating Digital Muslim Travel Report 2018 (DMTR2018) has revealed insights shaping the growth of online purchases by the next generation of Muslim travellers.  The research projects online travel expenditure by Muslim travellers to exceed US$180 billion by 2026.

The DMTR2018 is the first comprehensive report looking at the online travel patterns and attitudes of Muslim travellers across different demographic groups. It extends the research on the digital Muslim traveller population, as a larger subset of Muslim Millennial Travelers (MMTs) in the Muslim Millennial Travel Report 2017.

Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating and HalalTrip, said: “The DMTR2018 reveals important online behaviour and preferences of Muslim travellers. It will equip 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.”

He added that the outlook for the digital space is very positive given the rapid proliferation of enabling online technologies and payment methods and the rise of Muslim digital natives, as a major segment within the Muslim travel market. “Destinations need to ensure that their messages reach Muslim travellers through online channels. This report gives the industry a practical and ready segmentation criterion to empathise with different demographics. Digital is real and transcends generations,” he explained.

Devesh Kuwadekar, vice-president, Market Development, Mastercard, added: “The Halal travel market continues to be one of the fastest growing travel segments globally, with Muslim visitor arrivals representing about 10% of the entire travel industry globally in 2017. Muslim travellers are spending more time online researching and comparing information before they finally choose and pay for their ideal travel experience.

Mastercard works with like-minded partners to create tailored offerings for customers across a wide range of passion points. As consumers explore more countries and regions, Mastercard is also seeing an increase in the use of cashless and digital payments through prepaid and debit options as a safer, more convenient and reliable form of electronic payments for greater peace of mind when traveling.”

The Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2018, released in April this year, confirmed that the Muslim travel market will continue its fast-paced growth to reach US$300 billion by 2026. In 2017, there was an estimated 131 million Muslim visitor arrivals globally. CrescentRating research indicates that more than 60% of Muslim travellers were either millennials or Gen Z.

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