MALAYSIA TOPS MUSLIM-FRIENDLY TRAVEL IN GLOBAL ISLAMIC ECONOMY RANKINGS

PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA, 20 NOV 2020: Malaysia placed number one in four, out of six sectors in the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) Report 2020/21 announced by DinarStandard recently.

The Report’s Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI) scored Malaysia as the top ranked country in Muslim-friendly Travel, Halal Food, Islamic Finance and Pharma & Cosmetics sectors. Malaysia was ranked second and fourth respectively in the Media & Recreation and Modest Fashion sectors.

In Muslim-friendly Travel, the Malaysian Government ranked highest in two out of four benchmark dimensions, namely in Governance which refers to regulations related to the tourism industry, and Awareness in terms of media coverage and stakeholder training. The Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) and the Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) had focused on stakeholder training during the downtime generated from the pandemic. ITC offered a series of free online Muslim-friendly tourism related training sessions during the crisis, covering topics such as Halal certification, the needs of the Muslim travellers and Islamic branding and marketing.

In the other two dimensions, Malaysia was placed second in Financial support for inbound tourism spend and third in the Social dimension which refers to the sector’s impact on employment.

In the Muslim-friendly Travel sector, 200.3 million Muslim travellers contributed USD194 billion in travel spend in 2019, attesting to its enormous potential. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled growth in this sector which is only expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2023.
Despite the grim environment, the Report found that investors are still looking at long-term growth, especially in the travel technology area. Tourism establishments seeking a share of the multi-trillion dollar market opportunity in the Islamic economy, have also applied Muslim-friendly tourism guidelines in anticipation of borders reopening and the eventual rebound of the travel and tourism sector. This was in reference to the Muslim-friendly Accommodation Recognition (MFAR) programme introduced by ITC in 2019 that mushroomed in applications in 2020.

The GIEI offers a comprehensive picture of countries that are currently best positioned to address the multi-trillion dollar global halal economy opportunity. A total of 81 countries comprising OIC countries and non-OIC countries with a strong halal industry presence were covered in the Report.

The 2020/21 SGIE Report estimates that Muslims spend USD2.02 trillion in 2019 on food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, modest fashion, media and travel. While this spending reflects 3.2 per cent year-on-year growth, Muslim spending in 2020 is forecast to contract by 8 per cent due to the impact of the pandemic.

However, spendings excluding travel is forecast to rebound by the end of 2021 and is slated to reach USD3.3 trillion by 2024, at a cumulative annual growth rate of 3.1 per cent. Islamic finance assets are estimated to have reached USD2.88 trillion in 2019 and are estimated to remain at the same level in 2020.

The 2020/21 Report has been produced in partnership with SalaamGateway.com, the largest Islamic economy news and media platform. Global strategic partners of the Report this year include CIMB Islamic bank

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Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) is an entity under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia tasked to develop the Islamic tourism segment for Malaysia. It advocates for Muslim-friendly tourism by offering research and market intelligence, training, industry development consultation, Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality services standards and certification, and information exchange.

For further details, kindly contact:
Islamic Tourism Centre, Level 13, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia
No. 2 Tower 1, Jalan P5/6, Precinct 5, 62200 Putrajaya, Malaysia
Tel: 03-8891 7177 or via email itc@itc.gov.my

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