MasterCard and CrescentRating Announce a Global Muslim Travel Index

Crescent rating 125Kuala Lumpur – October 29th, 2014 –MasterCard today signed an agreement with CrescentRating, the world’s leading authority on Muslim Travel Market, to co-develop the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI). The agreement was signed during the 10th World Islamic Economic Forum in Dubai.

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 travelers 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.

“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 travelers who are looking to travel with peace of mind,” said Safdar Khan, Cluster Head, Malaysia, Brunei & Indonesia and Group Head, Islamic Payments, Southeast Asia, MasterCard.

“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 CrescentRating’s vision to help all travel industry stakeholders benefit from greater insight into this segment” said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating and HalalTrip

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.With many notable indices previously published by MasterCard, this will further strengthen MasterCard’s thought leadership role, particularly in the travel segment.

“The latest MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index has found that destination cities in the Middle East and Asia are among the top 10 fastest growing in terms of being connected to the rest of the world. This increasing connectivity is expected to drive the growth of visitor arrivals and cross-border spending in the coming years,” added Safdar Khan.

MasterCard and CrescentRating aim to proactively support the Muslim travel and tourism segment as a means to further strengthen their leadership in the development of Muslim lifestyle products.

According to CrescentRating, Muslim travellers are expected to spend USD 140 billion in 2014. This is projected to increase by 42% to USD 200 billion by the year 2020.