A Muslim travel index for Indonesia was launched on Dec. 7 at the Tourism Ministry in Jakarta.
Attended by Tourism Minister Arief Yahya, the Mastercard-CrescentRating Indonesia Muslim Travel Index (IMTI) 2018 is part of a series of Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) reports. It assesses provinces’ readiness in welcoming Muslim tourists based on four criteria – access, communication, environment and services – and tracks the growth of travel in Indonesia.
The 10 provinces included in this year’s index are Aceh, Riau Islands, West Sumatra, Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, South Sulawesi and West Nusa Tenggara (Lombok).
Lombok was picked as the main new halal tourist destination, followed by Aceh and Jakarta.
Home to more than 1,000 mosques, Lombok has become a leader in the development of halal tourism. The local government has shown a strong commitment to educating stakeholders and promoting Lombok as a Muslim-friendly destination.
Arief said the IMTI was an important milestone to achieve halal tourism-related targets in 2019. The targets include being the number one halal destination and attracting 5 million Muslim tourists.
In 2016, the Tourism Ministry formed the Halal Tourism Development Acceleration Team to encourage the development and promotion of halal tourism industry in Indonesia. Indonesia has consistently increased its GMTI rank, from 6th in 2015 to 2nd in 2018.
“As the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, Indonesia has the core infrastructure and environment that can meet the needs of Muslim tourists,” CrescentRating & HalalTrip CEO Fazal Bahardeen said in a statement.
The full list of provinces with their IMTI 2018 scores is as below:
- Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara) – 58
- Aceh -57
- Jakarta – 56
- West Sumatra – 55
- Yogyakarta – 51
- West Java – 51
- Riau Islands -50
- East Java – 48
- Central Java – 47
- South Sulawesi – 30
Bound together by a widely shared set of values, Muslims represent nearly 1.6 billion of the world’s population. This market provides a source of huge potential for brands from the West and brands from Muslim countries and is on a steep growth path. By 2030, the global Muslim population is expected to increase at a rate of 35 per cent, rising to 2.2 billion, or 26.4 per cent of the world’s total projected population of 8.3 billion (IslamicPopulation.com,2014) Also by 2030, 79 countries are expected to have a million or more Muslim inhabitants, as opposed to the current number of 72.
A majority of the world’s Muslims (over 60%) will continue to live in the Asia-Pacific region, while about 20% will live in the Middle East and North Africa (A.T Kearney). Western brands have the marketing and branding expertise but often lack the cultural awareness and local knowledge to penetrate Muslim markets successfully. Surely they will have to rely to local market research and accreditation agencies.