By Mastercard on April 10, 2019


Kuala Lumpur – The increasing reliance on the internet, social media and smartphones for place discovery and travel bookings by Muslim Millennials and Generation Z is driving the travel market with online travel expenditure by Muslim travelers expected to exceed US$180 billion (RM736 billion) by 2026.

The Mastercard-CrescentRating Digital Muslim Travel Report 2018 (DMTR2018) has revealed insights shaping the growth of online purchases by the next generation of Muslim travelers.

It is the first comprehensive report looking at the online travel patterns and attitudes of Muslim travelers across different demographic groups. It extends the research on the digital Muslim traveler population, as a larger subset of Muslim Millennial Travelers (MMTs) in the Muslim Millennial Travel Report 2017.


The Report was released at the Halal-In-Travel Asia Summit Hosted by CrescentRating at ITB Asia 2018.

Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating and HalalTrip, said “The DMTR2018 reveals important online behavior and preferences of Muslim Travelers. It will equip tourism destinations, tour operators, airlines and other tourism and hospitality stakeholders with insights of online platforms and social networking services to evaluate the potential within the Muslim market.”

 “With the rapid proliferation of enabling online technologies and payment methods and the rise of Muslim digital natives, as a major segment within the Muslim travel market, the outlook for the digital space is very positive. Destinations need to ensure that their messages reach Muslim travelers through online channels. This report gives the industry a practical and ready segmentation criterion to empathize with different demographics. Digital is real and transcends generations.” he added.

Devesh Kuwadekar, Vice President, Market Development, Mastercard, said, “The Halal travel market continues to be one of the fastest growing travel segments globally, with Muslim visitor arrivals representing about 10 percent of the entire travel industry globally in 2017. Muslim travelers are spending more time online researching and comparing information before they finally choose and pay for their ideal travel experience. Mastercard works with like-minded partners to create tailored offerings for customers across a wide range of passion points. As consumers explore more countries and regions, Mastercard is also seeing an increase in the use of cashless and digital payments through prepaid and debit options as a safer, more convenient and reliable form of electronic payments for greater peace of mind when traveling.”


The Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2018, released in April this year, confirmed that the Muslim travel market will continue its fast-paced growth to reach US$300 billion by 2026. In 2017, there was an estimated 131 million Muslim visitor arrivals globally. CrescentRating research indicates that more than 60 percent of Muslim travelers were either millennials or Gen Z.

Key Insights

According to the DMTR2018, a key insight uncovered is the deeper role of online sites and tools in enabling Muslims in the tourism industry to better plan and experience their travels. While millennials led most of the usage, other generations are also using digital media and technologies in similar ways to improve travel experiences. Apart from using tools to book their tips, Muslim travelers are also tuning into social networking services to stay connected and share their stories with family and friends.

Other insights also highlight the significance of digital behavior and preferences for service providers and travel industry to consider:

Insight Impact
Digital Is Real & Transcends Generations

Although MMTs are the largest segment of digital users, there is no distinct difference in widespread digital behaviour across generations

Destination and service providers should adapt digital offerings and social media implementation for travelers of all ages.
Digital Muslim Travelers Are Global Citizens

Social media platform preferences and internet behaviors similar to global trends

Destinations need to ensure their messages reach Muslim travelers through both mainstream online channels and niche sites targeting Muslims.
Mixed Online Platforms Used Per Product or Service Journey

Muslim travelers use a mix of PC and mobile platforms based on product types and preferences.

Online sites need to be agile enough to appear properly in different platforms, and smart enough to promote the right content based on the user’s intention.

Top Digitally-Enabled Muslim Outbound Markets

Based on GMTI 2018, the top 30 Muslim Outbound Markets represent 90% of the overall Muslim visitor arrivals. This study also looked at the “Digitally Enabled” environment of these markets to understand the potential of digital transactions.

These destinations have been divided into 5 distinctive clusters based on the market size and digital access with Malaysia identified as one of the large outbound markets possessing a high level of digital enablement. Other clusters include smaller outbound markets with high level of digital enablement, smaller outbound markets with high level of digital enablement and emerging growth markets with fast growing levels of digital enablement.

For more information, the full report is available here:


Share with us what you think about this article!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: