Crescentrating releases 2014 Halal Friendly Holiday Destination Rankings

holidayCrescentrating today released its 2014 Ranking of Halal Friendly Holiday Destinations. Now in the 4th year, this year’s ranking tracks 60 destinations. The Muslim Travel market segment was estimated to be worth US $140B in 2013, representing almost 13% of global travel expenditures. An increasing number of destinations are now keen on tapping into this segment and adapting their services to take into account the unique faith-based needs of Muslim travellers.

Top 10 Halal Friendly Holiday Destinations for 2014 in the OIC and non-OIC category

Top 10 Halal Friendly Destinations 2014 (OIC Destinations) Top 10 Halal Friendly Destinations 2014 (non-OIC Destinations)
1 Malaysia Singapore
2 United Arab Emirates South Africa
3 Turkey Thailand
4 Indonesia United Kingdom
5 Saudi Arabia Bosnia & Herzegovina
6 Morocco India
7 Jordan Hong Kong
8 Qatar Germany
9 Tunesia Australia
10 Egypt Tanzania

In-depth look at the rankings of all 60 destinations are available on here.

The main criteria taken into account in the ranking includes its suitability as a family holiday destination, the level of services and facilities it provides for Muslim travellers and the marketing initiatives of the destination targeting this segment.

Malaysia continues to hold on to it’s top position as the most halal friendly holiday destination, followed by United Arab Emirates and Turkey in the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) destinations. Indonesia has moved up to 4th position. Indonesia has launched number of initiatives in the past 12 months to focus on this segment. Singapore leads the list in non-OIC category for the 2nd year.

Japan has made the most improvement among the 60 destinations tracked. Japan released a travel guide for Muslim travellers last year. Recently some of the airports in Japan have also taken steps to improve their services by offering Halal food and prayer rooms.

In 2013 Crescentrating’s Rankings included 50 destinations. This year it has added 10 more destinations. It also releases Annual ranking of Airports and Shopping destination.

Malaysia tops survey of ‘halal holidays’ for Muslims

Singapore: Malaysia is the world’s friendliest destination for Muslim travellers, according to a survey released today, but Japan has shown most improvement as it ramps up efforts to cash in on a growing market.

Malaysia was followed by the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia in this year’s rankings for “halal” friendly holiday destinations released by Singapore-based Muslim travel specialist Crescentrating.

The survey evaluates countries in terms of their attentiveness to the needs of Muslim travellers, including the presence and accessibility of halal restaurants with meat slaughtered to Islamic standards, and the provision of prayer rooms at airports, shopping malls and hotels. “An increasing number of destinations are now keen on tapping into this segment and adapting their services to take into account the unique faith-based needs of Muslim travellers,” said Crescentrating chief executive Fazal Bahardeen.

For largely Muslim Malaysia, Bahardeen said the country’s Islamic Tourism Centre has “continued to educate the industry on how to cater to the Muslim travellers”.

“There are now more and more hotel kitchens with halal certification, an increasing number of hotels are also now catering to the specific needs of Muslim travellers,” he added.

One hotel even has separate timings for the use of gym and swimming pools for males and females needing privacy, he said.

Bahardeen said the Muslim travel market was estimated to be worth USD 140 billion last year, accounting for almost 13 percent of the global total. It is expected to rise to USD 200 billion by 2020, he added. Japan was in 40th place among the 60 ranked, but its score is 10 notches up from 50th place last year — the biggest improvement overall.

“Japan has definitely been the most active destination during the last year to focus on this segment of travellers,” Bahardeen told AFP. “It has launched a number of initiatives — from awareness programmes to the local industry to releasing the Muslim travel guide to Japan.” Some airports and hotels in Japan have also started offering halal food and prayer rooms, he said. Italy, Belgium, Ireland and Mexico were the bottom four countries in the rankings, as they had “not really focussed” on the possibilities of the Muslim market, he added.

Singapore placed sixth in the global rankings, and was the only non-Muslim country in the top 10, followed by Morocco, Jordan, Qatar and Tunisia.

The tiny island state touts its man-made attractions, a vast array of local food and reputation for cleanliness and order to travellers, and “does better than even some of the Muslim countries” in enticing those who follow the Islamic faith, Bahardeen said.