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Bahrain makes the top 20 in the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index 2015


  • Bahrain makes the top 20 in the GMTI 2015 behind Malaysia, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Indonesia, Oman, Jordan and Morocco
  • In 2014, Bahrain welcomed 2.6 million Muslim visitors.
  • Singapore topped the list for non-OIC countries which also included Thailand, UK, South Africa and France.
  • In 2014, there were 108 million Muslim travellers spending $145 billion. This is expected to grow to 150 million travellers in 2020 spending $200 billion.
  • To tweet this news, copy and paste your Twitter feed with the hashtags #GMTI2015

Bahrain- March 4th, 2015
Bahrain has today been named in the top 20 among the OIC destinations in the Global Muslim Travel Index, the most comprehensive research that has been released on the sector.

The “MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015” saw Bahrain come 14th on the list for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations. It was one of seven destinations from the Middle East that made the top 20.

Singapore came first for the non-OIC destinations, which also saw Thailand, UK, South Africa and France make the top five.

The GMTI looks at in-depth data covering 100 destinations, creating an overall index, based on a number of criteria. This is the first time such thorough insights have been provided into one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors in the world today.

It 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 study also revealed that in 2014, this segment was worth $145 billion with 108 million Muslim travellers representing 10% of the entire travel economy. In 2014, Bahrain saw 2.6 million Muslim arrivals into the country which accounts for 55% of the total arrivals.

The Muslim travel market is forecasted to grow to 150 million visitors by 2020 and 11% of the entire segment with a value projected to grow to $200 billion.

 “The MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index has today set a real precedent for the tourism industry,” said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating & 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 ease 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 7.6 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.

Malaysia scored an Index score of 83.8, followed by Turkey at 73.8 while Bahrain had a GMTI of 63.6.

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.

The Top 20 OIC destintions of GMTI 2015

Rank OVerallGMTI 2015 Rank Destination Score
1 1 Malaysia 83.8
2 2 Turkey 73.8
3 3 United Arab Emirates 72.1
4 4 Saudi Arabia 71.3
5 5 Qatar 68.2
6 6 Indonesia 67.5
7 7 Oman 66.7
8 8 Jordan 66.4
9 10 Morocco 64.4
10 11 Brunei 64.3
11 12 Tunisia 64.0
12 13 Kuwait 63.9
13 14 Iran 63.9
14 15 Bahrain 63.6
15 16 Egypt 63.6
16 17 Maldives 62.3
17 18 Kazakhstan 60.5
18 19 Bangladesh 60.2
19 21 Algeria 58.5
20 22 Azerbaijan 58.2


The Top 10 non-OIC destinations of GMTI 2015

Rank OverallGMTI 2015 Rank Destination Score
1 9 Singapore 65.1
2 20 Thailand 59.2
3 25 United Kingdom 55.0
4 30 South Africa 51.1
5 31 France 48.2
6 32 Belgium 47.5
7 33 Hong Kong 47.5
8 34 USA 47.3
9 35 Spain 46.5
10 36 Taiwan 46.2

The full report is available here

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