Inaugural Indonesia Muslim Travel Index Reveals Lombok, Aceh, and Jakarta as New Key Destinations for Halal Tourism

December 12, 2018 | Singapore
    • Indonesia launches travel index to position as itself a leader in the US$220 Billion Muslim Travel Market and achieve target of five million Muslim Tourist in 2019
    • The Mastercard-CrescentRating Indonesia Muslim Travel Index (IMTI) 2018 benchmarks ten Indonesian provinces on their readiness to welcome Muslim tourists.
    • Inaugural Indonesia Muslim Travel Index Reveals Lombok, Aceh, and Jakarta as New Key Destinations for Halal Tourism

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The Mastercard-CrescentRating Indonesia Muslim Travel Index (IMTI) 2018 was recently launched in Jakarta by Pak Arief Yahya, Minister of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia, with the aim of fast tracking the development of its provinces to welcome Muslim tourists. The inaugural Indonesia Muslim Travel Index reveals Lombok, Aceh, and Jakarta as new key destinations for Halal tourism

The IMTI benchmarks Indonesian provinces in four strategic areas – access, communications, environment and services – and tracks the health and the growth of the travel segment across the country. The ten provinces included in this years’ index are Aceh, Riau Islands, West Sumatera, Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, South Sulawesi and Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara). IMTI is part of Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) Series reports.

In 2016, Halal Tourism Acceleration and Development Team was setup by the Ministry of Tourism, to address the development and promotion of Halal travel in Indonesia amidst rising competition from other countries developing their own Halal tourism initiatives. Indonesia has worked to develop infrastructure and services to attract the Muslim tourist and has consistently improved its global position in the GMTI from 6th place in 2015 to 2nd place in 2018.

Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara) which tops the Index this year has proved itself to be one of the most equipped destinations for Muslim travelers in Indonesia in terms of the various criteria that were analyzed. It is followed closely by Aceh and Jakarta.

Best known for its pristine beaches and home to over a thousand mosques, Lombok has been at the forefront of developing the destination for Halal Tourism. The regional authorities have shown strong commitment to educate the stake holders and promote the destination as a Muslim Friendly destination.

Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said, “IMTI is an important milestone to achieve the Halal tourism target by 2019, including becoming the number one halal destination and attracting 5 million foreign Muslim travelers, 25% of the overall 2019 foreign visitor target.”

The global Muslim traveler expenditure is projected to reach US$220 billion in 2020 according to GMTI2018. It is expected to grow a further US$80 billion to hit US$300 billion by 2026.  In 2017, there were an estimated 131 million Muslim visitor arrivals globally - up from 121 million in 2016 - and this is forecasted to grow to 156 million visitors by 2020, representing 10 percent of the global travel segment.

Halal tourism is key to Indonesia’s economic growth and it is prospected to be the country’s biggest foreign exchange source in the future. The travel index highlighted recommendations for innovation and growth in the Muslim travel segment in Indonesia. Recommendations included improving connectivity and infrastructure as well as building online content and resources to attract more international tourists, while improving the country’s overall global Halal destination branding.

“Given its natural beauty and cultural richness, tourism offers a huge growth opportunity for Indonesia. With its standing as the world’s most populous Muslim country, Indonesia has the core infrastructure and environment in place to cater to the needs of Muslim travelers. IMTI2018 insights will enable the regions within Indonesia to build on their strengths to better cater to the requirements of Muslim travelers,“ said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating and HalalTrip.

“Mastercard and CrescentRating have collaborated since 2015 to create a suite of comprehensive research material offering invaluable insights on the Halal travel sector. These in turn enable governments and the tourism industry to better cater to the needs of Muslim travelers. Indonesia has done a wonderful job in enhancing the country’s tourism landscape and infrastructure. The IMTI is an innovative partnership between the public and private sector which aims to empower provinces with the information they need to continuously improve their local travel industry,” said Safdar Khan, Division President Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, Mastercard.

Key metric criteria for IMTI 2018 includes: access, which comprises of infrastructure; communications, which looks at how destinations market themselves to the target audience; environment, offering an environment welcoming of Muslim visitors; and services. Each criterion is then weighted to make up the overall index score.

IMTI 2018 RANK Province SCORE
1 Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara) 58
2 Aceh 57
2 Jakarta 56
4 West Sumatera 55
5 Yogyakarta 51
7 West Java 51
6 Riau Islands 50
8 East Java 48
9 Central Java 47
10 South Sulewasi 30

The full report is available at:


About CrescentRating Pte Ltd
CrescentRating is the world’s leading authority on halal-friendly travel. The company’s vision is to lead, innovate and drive this segment through practical and deliverable solutions in what is regarded today as one of the fastest growing segment in the tourism sector. The company uses insight, industry intelligence, life-style, behaviour and research on the needs of the Muslim traveler to deliver guidance on all aspects of halal-friendly travel to organisations across the globe.

CrescentRating’s services now include rating & accreditation, research & consultancy, workshops & training, ranking & indices, event support/partnerships and content provisioning.


About Mastercard
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