Istanbul and Antalya have featured in a list of the world’s top shopping destinations for Muslim tourists in a report which provides detailed insights into their spending behaviour while travelling. The MasterCard-CrescentRating Muslim Shopping Travel Index 2015 (MTSI 2015) has revealed Muslim travellers spent a total of $62 billion globally in shopping and dining.
Istanbul was fifth on the overall list of 40 cities in the MTSI 2015 while Antalya came sixth which was topped by Dubai in the number one spot. The research showed that shopping expenditure by Muslims in 2014 amounted to $36 billion, while dining expenditure amounted to $26 billion The MTSI 2015 looks at in-depth data covering Muslim travel shopping from 40 international cities creating an overall index, based on a number of criteria. It is the first time detailed insights have been provided on the consumer spending behaviour of Muslim travellers.
The MTSI 2015 is the latest research collaboration between MasterCard and CrescentRating on this sector following the launch of the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015 earlier this year. “The MasterCard-CrescentRating Muslim Travel Shopping Index is a fascinating insight into the shopping habits of Muslim consumers and will prove to be an invaluable tool to the entire sector,” said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating & HalalTrip.
“The research looks at two of the most important expenditure components of Muslim travellers which are shopping and dining. The Index reveals how important Turkey is to the sector and the vital contribution they are making including cities like Istanbul and Antalya.
The MTSI 2015 is a perfect complement to the GMTI2015 which we launched earlier this year and allows us to provide a complete picture of how Muslims spend their money when travelling. The MTSI 2015 provides a deeper look at two key components of the traveler consumer experience – shopping and dining. We see this as an important resource not only for us to better understand this significant and fast-growing traveler segment, but also a source of data that will inform and support the efforts of our partners in the travel industry,” said Matthew Driver, Group Executive, Global Products and Solutions, Asia Pacific, MasterCard.
The 40 international cities covered in the MTSI 2015 were scored against a comprehensive set of metrics which included suitability as a shopping destination, Muslim friendly services and facilities and ease of travel. Each criterion was then weighted to make up the overall index score.
Dubai topped the ranking for overall Muslim Travel Shopping with a score of 79.5 followed by Kuala Lumpur with a score of 73.3. Singapore scored 71.6 on the Index making it the number one ranked city from the non-OIC countries and third in the overall list. London was number four on the overall list with an Index of 64.7 while Istanbul came fifth with a scoring of 64.2 and Antalya in sixth with a score of 61.2.
A significant highlight of the MTSI 2015 was the high number of non-OIC countries featuring in the top 40 list. Singapore, secured a rank among the top five overall destinations for Muslim traveller shopping while London also scored very highly. This further revealed the potential for non-OIC destinations, with 25 on the list, to attract Muslim travellers by proactively catering to this segment.
Earlier this year, the GMTI 2015 showed that in 2014, the Muslim travel segment was worth $145 billion with 108 million Muslim travellers representing 10% of the entire travel economy. This is forecasted to grow to 150 million visitors by 2020 and 11% of the market segment with a market value projected to grow to $200 billion.