Kuala Lumpur–Taiwan ranked as the seventh best destination for Muslim travelers outside the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states in 2017, according to an annual report released this week jointly by Mastercard and CrescentRating, a leading rating service on halal travel and tourism.
Obtaining a score of 52.4, Taiwan was behind Singapore (67.3), Thailand (61.8), the United Kingdom (60.0), South Africa (53.6), Hong Kong (53.2) and Japan (52.8) on the list of non-OIC destinations.
It was ahead of France (52.1), Spain (48.8) and the United States (48.6), the Global Muslim Travel Index 2017 showed.
Among OIC destinations, Malaysia was ranked No. 1 for the seventh consecutive year with a score of 82.5, followed by the United Arab Emirates (76.9), Indonesia (72.6), Turkey (72.4) and Saudi Arabia (71.4).
The index covers a total of 130 destinations worldwide and measures them by 11 criteria, including whether they are family-friendly, safe in general and particularly for Muslim travelers, have a large number of Muslim visitor arrivals, offer enough dining options, and provide adequate halal assurances.
The other indicators are access to prayer spaces, airport facilities, accommodation options, ease of communication, Muslim travel needs awareness and outreach, air connectivity, and visa free travel.
According to the report, the number of Muslim travelers was estimated at 121 million globally in 2016 and is projected to increase to 156 million by 2020. By then travel expenditure by Muslim travelers is expected to reach US$220 billion.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel