The Mastercard-CrescentRating Halal Travel Frontier 2019 Report Unveils the Top Trends to Watch in the Muslim Travel Market

January 29, 2019 | Singapore

The Mastercard-CrescentRating Halal Travel Frontier 2019 (HTF2019) Report  has identified 17 trends that will shape the next phase of development in the fast growing Halal travel sector.

The report analyzes changes in the Halal travel space, and provides insights on how these trends will impact and influence the Muslim traveler. It predicts how technology, the environment and social activism will bring about major changes in all aspects of the Halal travel industry and make it easier for Muslim travelers to explore the world.

The 17 top trends include:

    • The integration of augmented reality to give Muslim travelers crucial cultural insights, including eateries that are Halal certified.
    • The proliferation of chatbots which are custom-designed to satisfy the cultural and religious needs of a Muslim traveler.
    • A streamlined visa approval process for Muslims traveling to Mecca to perform Umrah.
    • Non-traditional destinations such as Japan, South Africa and Taiwan will increasingly attract Muslim travelers.

Changes in the Umrah Visa process and the rise of new interactive technology will mean that traditional Hajj and Umrah service providers will face disruption in their business models. Young millennial Muslim travelers will now also be able to book their own do-it-yourself (DIY) Umrah. This means that existing players will need to re-invent themselves and re-imagine the services they offer to stay relevant.

Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), coupled with the increased penetration of smartphones, will also drive new trends that will re-define every step of the Muslim travel experience – from planning to purchasing, and sharing travel adventures.

Driven by the demand for more authentic, affordable and accessible experiences, more Millennials and Gen Z travelers will book “Instant Noodle Trips” - affordable, impromptu short trips.

In addition, heightened awareness on social causes and the rising authority of female influencers when planning trips, are also expected to result in changes in the way that Muslims travel.

The report also foresees non-OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) destinations, such as South Africa, Japan and Taiwan, will dramatically change the Muslim-friendly narrative. Competition and dynamism are expected lead to innovations and developments that will benefit both, destinations, as well as Muslim travelers.

Finally, the report foresees the consolidation of Muslim travel service providers that will potentially result in the emergence of stronger Muslim lifestyle and travel brands.

“Being at the forefront of the Muslim travel market during the last 10 years, CrescentRating is in a unique position with access to extensive data and insights to have a holistic view of the market. We have also been able to augment these insights by the emerging Muslim traveler behavior patterns we see on our HalalTrip website and mobile App, as well as the consumer purchasing behavior trends observed by Mastercard. This has enabled us to identify key trends so that all stake holders can prepare and benefit from the changes about to happen. We hope this motivates all players to embrace and further benefit from the growth.” said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating and HalalTrip.

“Mastercard has been working with CrescentRating to create invaluable research insights to enhance the payments landscape, encourage cross-border commerce, and set new benchmarks for the expansion of the Halal travel and tourism industry. The Halal Travel Frontier 2019 Report gives businesses, governments and other stakeholders in the travel sector an overview of the trends sweeping the fast growing Halal travel industry and how they can maximize opportunities in this fast growing travel sector,” said Safdar Khan, Division President, Indonesia, Malaysia & Brunei, Mastercard.

The global Muslim traveler expenditure is projected to reach US$220 billion in 2020 according to the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2018. 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.

The Top 17 Trends to Watch in 2019

Trend 1 Heightened awareness on social causes while exploring destinations Trend 10 Urge for “Instant Noodle Trips”
Trend 2 AI will further empower Muslim travelers Trend 11 Hotel sector will stop hitting Halal snooze
Trend 3 Halal assurance will become smarter with AR Trend 12 Rising female voice in trip planning
Trend 4 AR will reconnect Muslim travelers with lost Islamic heritage Trend 13 Destinations to encounter multiple Muslim traveler identities with common shared values
Trend 5 Consolidation of Muslim travel space will result in emergence of stronger Muslim lifestyle / travel brands Trend 14 Decline in Muslim visitors to destinations perceived as unwelcoming
Trend 6 Disruption of the traditional Umrah market with DIY Umrah Trend 15 Human resource development to take center stage
Trend 7 Deeper training immersion with VR Umrah Trend 16 Rise in demand for Halal advisory
Trend 8 Convergence of travel behavior around mobile Trend 17 Preventing Halal big data chaos
Trend 9 Growing non-OIC wave in Muslim travel ocean    

The full report is available at:

Media Contacts

Nabilah Ayunni, CrescentRating
Venture Liang, Mastercard

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, behavior and research on the needs of the Muslim traveler to deliver guidance on all aspects of Halal-friendly travel to organizations across the globe.

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


About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.