Millennial and Gen Z Muslim Travelers driving a US$180 Billion Online Travel Market

October 18, 2018 | Singapore

The increasing reliance on the internet, social media and smartphones for place discovery and travel bookings by Muslim Millennials and Generation Z is driving a US$180 billion online market.

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. The research projects online travel expenditure by Muslim travelers to exceed US$180 billion by 2026.

The DMTR2018 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 6of 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.

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 looked at the “Digitally Enabled” environment of these markets to understand the potential of digital transactions. These destinations have been divided into distinctive clusters based on the market size and digital access.
These are countries with residents who are digital savvy and have the latest digital landscapes but the population of is smaller in comparison to those in Cluster A.

Cluster A
Large outbound markets with a high level of digital enablement

    • Saudi Arabia

    • Malaysia

    • United Arab Emirates

These are regions with large Muslim populations and high per-capita GDP, allows a high percentage of travelers to travel internationally. Majority of the residents in these countries are digital savvy and have the latest digital infrastructures.
Cluster B
High level of digital enablement but smaller outbound markets

OIC Countries

    • Kuwait

    • Qatar

    • Lebanon

    • Tunisia

    • Azerbaijan

    • Kazakhstan

Non-OIC Countries

    • UK

    • Germany

    • France

    • Singapore

    • Russia

These are countries with residents who are digital savvy and have the latest digital landscapes but the population of is smaller in comparison to those in Cluster A.
Cluster C
Good level of digital enablement but smaller outbound markets

    • Oman

    • Albania

    • Morocco

    • China

They have good digital infrastructures but the population of Muslim travelers travelling internationally is still small.
Cluster D
Emerging growth markets with fast growing levels of digital enablement

    • Turkey

    • Indonesia

    • Egypt

    • Iran

These are majority Muslim countries with a growing outbound travel market. Even though they may not have widespread digital infrastructures yet, businesses can look at these markets for medium to long term prospects.

The full report is available here:


About CrescentRating
CrescentRating is the leading authority on Halal travel and tourism. The company uses insights, industry intelligence, lifestyle, behavior and research on the needs of the Muslim traveler to deliver authoritative guidance on all aspects of Halal travel to organizations across the globe. Founded in 2008, CrescentRating services are used by every tier of the tourism industry, from government bodies and tourism agencies to hospitality service providers, to better serve the needs of the Muslim traveler.
CrescentRating’s products and services include rating & accreditation, research & consultancy, training, & certification (CR Academy), industry reports, Halal-In-Travel conferences, HalalChefWorld program, destination marketing and content provisioning. HalalTrip is a sister brand of CrescentRating.


About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardAP, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

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