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Holidaying reverie

Bangladesh makes it to a Top 20 destination list

Bangladesh has been named 18th in the top 20 among the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations in the Global Muslim Travel Index, the most comprehensive research released yesterday on the sector, says a press release. According to MasterCard-Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015 Bangladesh is behind Malaysia, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Indonesia, Oman, Jordan and Morocco, the release added.

Bangladesh had a GMTI of 60.2 while Malaysia scored an Index score of 83.8, followed by Turkey in 73.8.
This Muslim travel market is forecasted to grow to 150 million travellers in 2020 and 11 per cent of the entire segment with a value projected to grow to $200 billion. In 2014, Bangladesh alone saw 67,000 Muslim arrivals into the country which accounts for 19 per cent of the total arrivals.  The study also revealed that in 2014, this segment was worth $145 billion, with 108 million Muslim travellers representing 10 per cent of the entire travel economy.

Singapore topped the list for   non-OIC countries which also saw Thailand, UK, South Africa and France to make the top five. Such thorough insights have been provided for the first time in one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors in the world today, the release added. Creating an overall index and basing on a number of criteria, the GMTI looked at in-depth data covering 100 destinations.

The GMTI index will provide travellers, Governments, travel services and investors comprehensive benchmarks across a number of important criteria enabling them to track the health and growth of this travel segment.  ‘The MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index yesterday set a real precedent for the tourism industry,’ said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating  and HalalTrip. ‘Not only is it the most in-depth research that we have undertaken so far on the fast-growing Muslim travel market, but has provided all stakeholders with some invaluable insight into how the halal-friendly tourism sector is growing and developing from a global perspective.’

‘We are pleased to partner with CrescentRating to develop the Global Muslim Travel Index as we see it as an extension of our efforts in giving consumers peace of mind when travelling, through our seamless payment solutions. Travel continues to be a core passion for consumers and we are confident the GMTI will prove to be a trusted resource for this important, fast-growing traveller segment,’ said Matthew Driver, President, Southeast Asia, MasterCard.

Not surprisingly, Saudi Arabia saw the highest number of Muslim arrivals into the country in 2014 with 10.2 million followed by Turkey at 8.1 million. All 100 destinations in the GMTI were scored against a backdrop of criteria which included suitability as a family holiday destination, the level of services and facilities it provides, accommodation options, marketing initiatives as well as visitor arrivals. Each criterion was then weighted to make up the overall index score.

GMTI40, which will be updated quarterly around the year, will track the average score of the top 20 OIC and non-OIC destinations and will form the key index to monitor the performance of the Muslim travel segment.  The overall average score for 40 destinations (GMTI40) currently stands at 56 while the overall average GMTI score for the complete 100 destinations is at 43.8.  From a regional perspective, Asia Pacific destinations lead with an average GMTI score of 54.

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