According to a recent Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015 study, Muslims were increasingly becoming an important segment for travel and hospitality businesses. In 2014 alone, this segment was worth US$145 billion, with 108 million Muslim travelers representing 10% of the entire travel economy. This is forecast to grow to 150 million visitors by 2020, spending up to $200 billion.
The study also acknowledged that, in addition to countries that have large Muslim populations (Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC] member states), many non-OIC countries had also enjoyed growth in Muslim visitor arrivals in 2014.
Thailand, for example, was ranked second among the top 10 non-OIC destinations in a survey by GMTI in 2015. And presently the monarchy is seriously eyeing Indonesia — home to about 13% of the world’s Muslims — as its potential Muslim market.
During a recent gathering event with the Association of Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (Asita) in Bandung, West Java, Perfect Holiday Indonesia, a part of Thailand-based Perfect Holiday Royal Siam, has revealed that it is presently focusing on promoting Muslim-friendly destinations in Thailand as part of its tour packages.
Fully supported by the Tourism Authority Thailand (TAT), these destinations include a unique mosque resembling Javanese traditional Joglo architecture built by a community of Javanese descendants in Thailand, and restaurants and hotels that are verified as halal by the country’s Central Islamic Committee.
“We are quite optimistic that our tour packages to Thailand offer an interesting option for holidaymakers in Indonesia, especially from West Java,” said Perfect Holiday Indonesia president director Miko Puji Utomo in a press release on March 19.