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Japan to welcome over one million Muslim tourists according to the inaugural Mastercard-CrescentRating Japan Muslim Travel Index 2017

December 7, 2017 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

Japan is set to benefit from one of the world’s fastest growing tourism sectors by welcoming over one million Muslim visitors according to new research.

The Mastercard-CrescentRating Japan Muslim Travel Index (JMTI) 2017 analyzed the inbound tourism potential of 47 destinations in Japan.

Tokyo topped the JMTI in the inaugural report with the region scoring highest as the most equipped destination for Muslim travelers to Japan followed by Osaka and Hokkaido in third place.

The research revealed Muslim arrivals to Japan increased from around 150,000 in 2004 to 700,000 in 2016. It is projected to surpass one million by 2018 and reach 1.4 million by 2020. 60% of the Muslim visitor arrivals currently are from ASEAN, with Indonesia representing 27% of the arrivals.

The JMTI is the first time detailed analysis of the Muslim travel market into Japan has been undertaken with each destination measured and tracked against a range of criteria. It aims to allow each region to understand the level of services across their regions to grow and better cater to the requirements of Muslim travelers.

Earlier this year, Japan moved up two places to take sixth spot for the    non-OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) destinations in the annual Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2017 – the most comprehensive report on the sector which covers 130 destinations.

The GMTI also showed that the Muslim travel market will continue to grow at a fast pace with the sector estimated to grow to US$220 billion in 2020. It is expected to grow a further US$80 billion to reach US$300 billion by 2026.

Asia has remained the leading region in the world in terms of attractiveness to Muslim tourists with an average GMTI score of 57.6, with Africa coming in second place at 47.0, followed by Oceania (43.8), Europe (39.9) and the Americas (33.7)

Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating & HalalTrip, officially launched the JMTI with its partner Halal Media Japan at the Halal Expo Japan.

He said: “This is a key milestone in the development of the GMTI. With the launch of the JMTI, we are now able to provide deeper insights within a destinations, so that they can better cater to this market.”

The event also saw the first set of 20 Japanese restaurants being awarded “Crescent Rating”. The rating is based on the level of services the establishment offer to Muslim diners.

Shinya Yokoyama, co-founder of Halal Media Japan, said: “We are delighted to be the first to release a destination specific Muslim Travel Index as a part of GMTI series reports.

“We are confident that the report will help further develop capability and capacity of Japan to welcome Muslim travelers.”

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