Report: Muslim millennial traveller market growing
Travel businesses should set sights on Muslim millennial travellers, who are increasing in numbers and wealth
The rising wave of Muslim millennial travellers (MMTs) are changing the travel landscape as they increase in numbers and affluence.
In 2030, 29 per cent of those aged 15 to 29 in the world will be Muslim, according to the Mastercard-HalalTrip Muslim Millennial Travel Report 2017 released yesterday.
And by 2025, MMTs' global expenditure will surpass US$100 billion (S$136 million).
Last year saw 121 million Muslims travelling internationally, with more than 80 million of them being MMTs or Generation Z, the demographic cohort after millennials.
Today, most MMTs travel two to five times a year, with an average of four to six days each trip.
The study focused on MMTs aged 18 to 36 from all five continents and revealed the burgeoning importance of the next generation of Muslim travellers to the tourism sector across the world.
Mr Fazal Bahardeen, chief executive of Singapore-based online Muslim lifestyle platform HalalTrip, said: "The Muslim traveller market is growing rapidly as a highly lucrative segment in contemporary tourism and will be entering its peak earning, spending and travelling life stage within the next five to 10 years.
"The growth of the young Muslim market segment, which is increasingly affluent, signals a huge potential for the international market of Muslim-friendly travel-related products and services.
"Travel within this young generation of Muslims is booming as consumers with more disposable income seek more exotic experiences and far-flung destinations than their parents.
"When you consider that the Muslim travel market is relatively young, these insights from this report give a clear indication where the tourism industry needs to focus their efforts."
(The study) makes me feel that we are finally being acknowledged, our power and presence are represented, and that our voice actually matters.Miss Atikah Amalina
According to Miss Raudha Zaini, marketing manager of HalalTrip, it used to be mainly Muslim family and group travellers using the traditional way of booking through Muslim travel agencies, but times are changing.
She told The New Paper: "I believe that for some time now, MMTs have actively performed direct bookings online and are relying on travel websites like HalalTrip for inspiration during their trip planning phase."
In light of the new findings, Miss Raudha feels that local tour operators need to "relook at how they can engage with MMTs through market reach-out and brand experience" and be "able to relate to the MMT travel experience" through key opinion leaders and influencers that MMTs follow closely.
Singapore is the sixth most popular destination for MMTs, while Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan rank as their top three destinations.
Miss Raudha said: "Singapore needs to look at this segment as part of its long-term strategy...
"As more destinations like Japan and South Korea reach out to MMTs, Singapore needs to offer authentic, affordable experiences that allow MMTs to stay connected without compromising their faith-based needs."
Alongside flight and accommodation costs and availability of halal food, safety and terrorism concerns are top factors when MMTs plan trips.
Miss Atikah Amalina, a 26-year-old MMT, blogger and influencer, feels it is time that more travel businesses recognise and cater to the MMT segment.
She told TNP: "Representation is important. (The study) makes me feel that we are finally being acknowledged, our power and presence are represented, and that our voice actually matters."