Turkey comes second in the MasterCard’s Global Muslim Travel Index

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

saudi tourists shopping

The “MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015”, which is the most comprehensive research that has been released on the sector, saw Turkey come second on the list, following Malaysia who took the top spot, for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations. Turkey beat destinations such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Indonesia in the study. Singapore came first for the non-OIC destinations.

Following Singapore, Thailand, UK, South Africa and France make the top five.

The study also revealed that in 2014, this segment was worth $145 billion with 108 million Muslim travelers representing 10% of the entire travel economy. Turkey saw 7.6 million Muslim visitors- the second highest in the world- in that period which accounts for 19% of the total arrivals to this European destination.

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. 

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.

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 10 OIC destinations of GMTI 2015



GMTI 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




The Top 10 non-OIC destinations of GMTI 2015



GMTI 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 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.

Most Read news in this category since July 1, 2017

Prev Next


Spend a Romantic Weekend in Tallinn, Estonia

Spend a Romantic Weekend in Tallinn, Estonia

Beginning of December 2016, me and my wife visited Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and if you are searching for a romantic weekend, then you should consider Tallinn. The Estonian capital offers tra...

Best of Greek Islands with Celestyal Cruises

Best of Greek Islands with Celestyal Cruises

In Summer 2016, I had chance to sail to Greek Islands with the Celestyal Cruises. In an organization with Karavan Cruises, travelers enjoyed best of Greek islands with Celestyal and received a compl...

Unique and Luxurious Vacation Destination in Turkey: Cappadocia

Unique and Luxurious Vacation Destination in Turkey: Cappadocia

ftnNEWS would like to present you a unique vacation idea here in Turkey: Cappadocia Region. Located on the central Anatolia plateau within a volcanic landscape sculpted by erosion to form a successi...