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GDP Impact of Muslim Travel In The Middle East To Hit $36 Billion

SHAFAQNAThe GDP impact of Muslim travel in the Middle East [1] is forecast to hit $36 billion by 2020, up 21% from $29.7 billion in 2017 and representing 19% of the total global GDP generated by the end of the decade, according to research unveiled this week, and hit US$36 Billion by 2020.

The recent Salam Standard Report states that the GDP impact of Muslim travel in the Middle East alone is forecast to hit US$36 billion by 2020, up 21% from $29.7 billion in 2017 and representing 19% of the total global GDP generated by the end of the decade, according to research unveiled this week.

The Muslim travel industry will create 1.2 million jobs

The Muslim travel industry will create 1.2 million jobs in the region by 2020, more than double the 528,000 currently employed, the report by Salam Standard revealed. A closer look at outbound Muslim [2] spend, reveals that the Middle East is by far the largest source market worldwide, contributing $62.2 billion in 2017, forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2020, with a 59% market share. That’s where the opportunity lies for South Africa to develop its Muslim travel offering to appeal to those global Muslim travellers

The Middle East received $30.5 billion in 2017, with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Turkey .

The Middle East is by far the largest source market worldwide

Travellers from Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the biggest spenders and will represent 41% of all outbound Muslim travel spend by 2020, the report said.

Saudi Arabia in particular relies heavily on Muslim travel due to religious travel to Makkah and Madinah and the inbound travel GDP is forecasted to reach 78% for the country by 2020, Hotelier Middleeast reported.

The kingdom is also the sixth largest beneficiary by country worldwide in terms of Muslim tourism tax impact, which reached $500 million in 2017. When it comes to outbound Muslim spend, the Middle East is by far the largest source market worldwide, contributing $62.2 billion in 2017 and forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2020, with a 59 percent market share, the report said.

“The figures speak for themselves – the Muslim travel sector is playing an increasingly significant role in the economic wealth of Middle Eastern countries, particularly Persian Gulf nations with vibrant and growing tourism industries and ambitious plans to develop them further, namely, the UAE and Saudi Arabia,” said Faeez Fadhlillah, co-founder and CEO of Salam Standard and Muslim-friendly hotel booking portal, according to Tripfez.

South Africa has been ranked as one of the ten most Muslim-friendly travel

South Africa has been ranked as one of the ten most Muslim-friendly travel destinations for 2018 among non-Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries in the annual Mastercard-Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI), adding a boost to Cape Town Tourism’s ongoing campaign seeking to grow this market segment. Cape Town has a rich Muslim history and heritage, with the Cape Malay Muslims making up around a quarter of the population, eturbonews mentioned.

Exciting opportunities for Middle East countries

The robust growth in inbound and outbound Muslim tourism expenditure forecast for the region presents exciting opportunities for Middle East countries and destinations across the globe, promising a boost in GDP, tax receipts and job creation for those who tap into this potential”, Arabian business noticed.