Istanbul and Antalya have featured in a list of the world’s top shopping destinations for Muslim tourists in a report which provides detailed insights into their spending behavior while travelling.
The MasterCard-CrescentRating Muslim Shopping Travel Index 2015 (MTSI 2015) has revealed Muslim travelers spent a total of $62 billion globally in shopping and dining.
Istanbul was fifth while the Mediterranean resort of Antalya came sixth on the MTSI 2015’s list of 40 cities, which was topped by Dubai in the number one spot in the report released on Sept. 29.
The research showed shopping expenditures by Muslims in 2014 amounted to $36 billion, while dining expenditure amounted to $26 billion.
The MTSI 2015 looks at in-depth data covering Muslim travel shopping from 40 international cities, creating an overall index based on a number of criteria. It is the first time detailed insights have been provided on the consumer spending behavior of Muslim travelers.
The MTSI 2015 is the latest research collaboration between MasterCard and CrescentRating on this sector following the launch of the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015 earlier this year.
“The MTSI is a fascinating insight into the shopping habits of Muslim consumers and will prove to be an invaluable tool to the entire sector” said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating & HalalTrip.
“The research looks at two of the most important expenditure components of Muslim travelers, which are shopping and dining. The index reveals how important Turkey is to the sector and the vital contribution they are making with cities like Istanbul and Antalya” he noted.
The 40 international cities covered in the MTSI 2015 were scored against a comprehensive set of metrics, which included suitability as a shopping destination, Muslim friendly services and facilities, and ease of travel. Each criterion was then weighted to make up the overall index score.
Dubai topped the ranking with a score of 79.5, followed by Kuala Lumpur with a score of 73.3. Singapore scored 71.6 on the index making it the number one ranked city from the non-OIC countries and third on the overall list.
London was number four on the overall list with an index of 64.7, while Istanbul came fifth, scoring 64.2, and Antalya sixth, with a score of 61.2.
Earlier this year, the GMTI 2015 showed that in 2014, the Muslim travel segment was worth $145 billion, with 108 million Muslim travelers representing 10 percent of the entire travel economy.
This is forecasted to grow to 150 million visitors by 2020 and 11 percent of the market segment, with a market value projected to grow to $200 billion.