Over the past four years, CrescentRating has released annual rankings of Muslim-friendly holiday destinations. With this agreement, the rankings will be developed into a global index. This will not only help Muslim travellers understand how comfortable they will be at the destinations, but will also help the travel industry and investors understand and keep track of the growth potential each destination has to offer. The Index will be released in January 2015 and will be updated quarterly.
Safdar Khan, group country manager, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei; group head, Islamic Payments, Southeast Asia, MasterCard, said, We are enthusiastic about the growing possibilities and opportunities in the Muslim lifestyle segment. Specifically, travel and tourism have become key components for leading destination cities globally with extensive economic and social benefits. The collaboration with CrescentRating underscores our commitment to cater to the specific needs of Muslim travellers who are looking to travel with peace of mind.
Fazal Bahardeen, CEO, CrescentRating and HalalTrip, said, Developing our annual ranking into a global index is something we have been extremely keen to achieve. This partnership with MasterCard now allows us to develop GMTI to be the premier Index which will keep track of the growth in this segment. This is another step in CrescentRatings vision to help all travel industry stakeholders benefit from greater insight into this segment.
The partnership provides MasterCard and CrescentRating an opportunity to co-develop various other rankings and indices covering holiday, shopping and island destinations, among others, for the Muslim travel segment. According to CrescentRating, Muslim travellers are expected to spend US$ 140 billion in 2014. This is projected to increase by 42 per cent to US$ 200 billion by the year 2020.