Singapore named top non-Islamic destination for Muslim tourists
Singapore is the top non-Islamic destination for Muslim tourists, according to the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI).
Travellers from 100 countries were surveyed for the index, which was released on Wednesday (March 4).
The index was developed by MasterCard and Muslim travel industry consultancy CrescentRating.
With the inclusion of Islamic countries, Singapore ranked ninth, while Malaysia ranked number one.
Singapore trumped some Muslim countries including the Maldives and Egypt after scoring more points for family friendliness, safety and service, reported Reuters.
Top 10 Islamic destinations
Top 10 non-Islamic destinations
Muslim tourists are one of the fastest growing travel groups.
Last year, Singapore welcomed 3.2 million Muslim visitors, according to the report.
Globally, there were 108 million Muslim travellers spending US$145 billion (S$198b) last year, the report said.
This is expected to grow to 150 million travellers in 2020 spending US$200 billion, it added.
Muslim travellers look for restaurants serving food that is halal, or permissible under Islamic law, as well as readily accessible mosques or prayer rooms.
They are also conscious of safety. Rising anti-Muslim sentiment in some Western countries and an increase in Islamist militant attacks are a worry, helping give Asia top marks in the GMTI, reported Reuters.