Turkey ranked third most popular Muslim travel destination

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

Muslims beach holidayTurkey has claimed its position as the third most popular destination in the global Muslim travel market, according to the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2016, which covers 130 destinations in the world.

Turkey took the third position on the list of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations, behind Malaysia which retained its pole position and the UAE.

In May, Turkey will host world’s biggest international conference on halal tourism in May with the Halal Tourism Conference 2016 in Konya bringing together some of the world’s leading names in the travel industry. muslim travel index2016

Indonesia climbed two places to take the fourth spot with Bahrain becoming the biggest mover, jumping four spots to come in tenth place. 

Singapore also retained its pole position for the non-OIC destinations, with Thailand, the UK, South Africa and Hong Kong making up the top five.

The study also revealed that in 2015, there were an estimated 117 million Muslim visitor arrivals globally, representing close to 10 percent of the entire travel market. This is forecasted to grow to 168 million visitors by 2020 equal to 11 percent of the market segment with a market value projected to exceed US$200 billion. 

Asia and Europe were also revealed as the two leading regions in the world for attracting Muslim visitors - accounting for 87 percent of the entire market.

Top 20 OIC and non OIC

All 130 destinations in the GMTI were scored against a backdrop of criteria that 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.  This year, two new criteria - air connectivity and visa restrictions - were added to further enhance the Index.  

Turkey had an Index score of 73.9 placing it at third place in the overall combined list. Malaysia scored 81.9, followed by UAE at 74.7. In comparison, the highest scoring non-OIC destination Singapore scored 68.4 with second place Thailand at 59.5.

Taiwan and Japan have continued to improve their overall rankings and the average GMTI scores by region show Asia as the leading region. 

The overall average GMTI score for the complete 130 destinations currently stands at 43.7.  From a regional perspective, Asia Pacific destinations lead with an average GMTI score of 56.5.

The top 10 OIC destinations in the GMTI 2016

1 1 Malaysia 81.9
2 2 United Arab Emirates 74.7
3 3 Turkey 73.9
4 4 Indonesia 70.6
5 5 Qatar 70.5
6 6 Saudi Arabia 70.4
7 7 Oman 70.3
8 9 Morocco 68.3
9 10 Jordan 65.4
10 11 Bahrain 63.3

The top 10 non-OIC destinations in the GMTI 2016

1 8 Singapore 68.4
2 20 Thailand 59.5
3 21 United Kingdom 59.0
4 30 South Africa 53.1
5 31 Hong Kong 53.0
6 31 France 51.6
7 33 Taiwan 50.1
8 34 Japan 49.1
9 35 Sri Lanka 49.0
10 36 United States 48.9

The full report is available here

The Halal Tourism Conference 2016 takes place from the 3rd to 5th May 2016 at the Mevlana Cultural Center in Konya, Turkey.

For more information on the event including how to attend as a delegate please visit

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