Despite the sociological stereotypes of Muslims, this niche group holds up to 10 per cent of the global travel market.
The Muslim travel industry will create 1.2 million jobs (total direct and indirect employment) by 2020, more than double the 528,000 currently employed). While this may be interesting in general, a closer look at outbound Muslim spend, reveals that the Middle East is by far the largest source market worldwide, contributing $62.2 billion in 2017, forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2020, with a 59% market share.
Nigeria, Egypt and Ethiopia have the largest Muslim communities on the continent. What should we know about this niche group and what do they want when they travel?
Key Muslim Stereotypes
- Muslims are terrorists
- Muslims hate LGBTQ
- Muslims hate God, Jews and Christians
These stereotypes can curb Muslims from travelling to regions they don’t feel safe in. Noone enjoys being held up at an airport security check-point, being asked to get off a plane or being talked about nearby. Many restaurants make provisions for different tastes like vegetarian, nut-allergies yet there seems to be an aversion toward how humanely an animal was slaughtered for consumption i.e. halal. The Muslim traveller looks for the simple things at their destinations. Here’s a quick breakdown of what many Muslim travellers want.
What do Muslims want when they travel?
- Halal assurance
- Access to prayer spaces
- Ease of Communication
- Water friendly washrooms
- Recreational facility privacy
- Ramadhan services
To truly benefit from Muslim traveller spend, it is important that travel businesses are able to offer specialist tours to meet their faith-based needs and interests.