Muslim tourists may well be the largest and most lucrative untapped niche market in global tourism. A survey jointly conducted by DinarStandard and CrescentRating estimated that the outbound expenditure of global Muslim tourist market (excluding Hajj and Umrah) in 2011 was approximately USD126.1 billion, which constituted 12.3% of total global outbound tourism expenditure within the same year. This expenditure is also expected to grow approximately 4.79% per annum on average from 2012 – 2020. The survey also revealed that tour packages for Malaysia and other destinations that include halal food, own-cooking and prayer facilities are highly approved by Muslim tourists.
Malaysia registered an estimated 5.44 million Muslim tourists in 2012 (equivalent to 21.75% of Malaysia’s total tourist arrivals for the same year) compared to 5.22 million in 2011. Fully aware of the global potential of Islamic tourism, Islamic Tourism Centre is constantly working with industry players to ensure that Malaysia is always at the forefront of Islamic tourism. As part of its initiatives, ITC has recently worked with tour operators in developing custom-made tour packages to fulfil the needs of travel-savvy Muslim tourists.
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