Morocco has moved up three spots in the Mastercard-Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI), which ranks the most attractive destinations for "halal travel” worldwide. In 2019, the country climbed up from tenth place to seventh place in the global ranking.
Rabat – The report ranked Morocco seventh out of a list of 130 countries considered to be premier destinations for Muslim travelers and tourists.
In the Arab world, Morocco came in fourth place after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Qatar.
However, in the Maghreb, it came first, ahead of Tunisia and Algeria, which came in 16th and 19th place, respectively.
Globally, Malaysia and Indonesia tied for first place, followed by Turkey in second place, Saudi Arabia in third place, and the UAE in fourth place.
Even though Morocco’s tourism sector does not provide services specifically designed for halal travel, the 2019 GMTI took into account the availability of hotel services, halal eating options, and private swimming pools geared towards Muslim families in the country.
The report also highlighted the growing contribution of the halal travel sector to the global economy.
By 2026, it is estimated that the sector’s contribution to the global economy will jump 35 percent, reaching $300 billion, up from $220 billion in 2020. By that time, the number of Muslim visitors globally is projected to grow to 230 million people, representing more than 10 percent of tourists worldwide.
The 2019 GMTI indicated that Muslim travelers specifically chose countries where hotels provided entertainment facilities for women, prayer facilities, non-alcoholic beverages, and pork-free meals.
The GMTI ranking uses various criteria to assess how family-friendly a country and its hotels are.
Some of these criteria include the quality of services and amenities, the ease of checking in and checking out, marketing initiatives, and the number of national and international Muslim visitors a destination receives.
Last year, Morocco welcomed more than 12 million tourists, an eight percent increase from the previous season. However, this number still pales in comparison to the government’s ambitious goal of attracting 20 million tourists by 2020.