As travel trends continue to emerge across all spheres of society, culture and interests, Muslim-friendly tourism has become a booming sector, as reflected in the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2018 released in April.
The report found that for a second consecutive year, both Singapore and the UK ranked as top international non-OIC destinations for Muslim travellers, coming in at first and second place respectively. South Africa ranked seventh, descending from fourth place in 2017.
In addition to a region’s destination marketing, the ranking looked at factors such as infrastructure and services.
It has been estimated that by the year 2020, the halaal travel market will pump an impressive $220 billion dollars into the industry. In light of this, organisations such as Cape Town Tourism are offering travel operators training in Crescent Rating (CR) training, focusing on halaal tourism. Furthermore, the organisation has made available a Halaal Tourism Guidelines and Glossary to better equip industry players.
“The CrescentRating index once again confirms that the fast-growing Muslim travel segment is an exciting opportunity for South African tourism and that the country remains a favoured destination among Muslim travellers,” states Mark Elliot, Division President, Southern Africa MasterCard, as reported by Southern & East African Tourism update.
With Cape Malay Muslims accounting for a quarter of the city’s population, according to Cape Town Etc., areas such as Bokaap have been offering unique tourism experiences inspired by the community’s culture and heritage, despite facing the threat of gentrification.
According to IOL, “Cape Town Tourism has also been invited to feature in a panel discussion at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show, on the topic of preparing to cater to the needs of the Muslim visitor.”