The increasing reliance on the internet, social media and smartphones for place discovery and travel bookings by Muslim Millennials and Generation Z is driving the travel market with online travel expenditure by Muslim travelers expected to exceed US$180 billion (RM736 billion) by 2026.
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.
It 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 of electronic payments for greater peace of mind when traveling.”
According to the DMTR2018, a key insight uncovered is the deeper role of online sites and tools in enabling Muslims in the tourism industry to better plan and experience their travels. While millennials led most of the usage, other generations are also using digital media and technologies in similar ways to improve travel experiences. Apart from using tools to book their tips, Muslim travelers are also tuning into social networking services to stay connected and share their stories with family and friends.
Other insights also highlight the significance of digital behavior and preferences for service providers and travel industry include the discovery that although MMTs are the largest segment of digital users, there is no distinct difference in widespread digital behaviour across generations.