Photo: A woman pushing a suitcase on a train platform on September 23, 2020 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Upen Supendi/Shutterstock

Islamic Lifestyle

Indonesian, Malaysian Muslim travellers want safety, value for money in ‘new normal’ - survey

A survey from travel consultants Pear Anderson and online travel marketplace Wego found that safety and value for money are top priorities for Indonesian and Malaysian Muslim travellers in the "new normal" amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The online survey conducted Sep 8-22 comprised 190 respondents in Indonesia and 63 in Malaysia. The small sample size and distribution over age groups do not produce representative results of the two countries’ Muslim populations, admits the report that revealed the survey findings. However, the findings cannot be entirely dismissed as respondents consist of Wego users and networks who regularly travel for both leisure and business, according to the online travel marketplace.

“We will be using the survey insights to better address traveller concerns when working with our NTO (national tourism organisation) partners,” Nona Kubik-Cheng, Wego’s Vice President for Asia Pacific, told Salaam Gateway.

Wego is “impacted quite significantly” by the pandemic, “just like all travel platforms”, said Kubik-Cheng. “With the return of domestic business we see some improvement. This however, is volatile and depends on the COVID-19 related situation in each country.”

The Wego exec could not have spoken too soon. Since the release of the report at the end of October, the Malaysian government once again restricted movements in nine of its 13 states from Monday (Nov 9) to Dec 6 as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. The government relaxed curbs on economic and social activities in June after three months of restrictions. In Indonesia, Jakarta from Oct 12 eased its second lockdown that started mid-Sep.

However, focused on the “new normal”, Wego said it is “encouraged” due to the travel confidence of the survey respondents.

The survey revealed that 31.05% of respondents in Indonesia and 42.86% from Malaysia have planned two domestic trips between the survey period of September and end-2020.

The Indonesian group is a lot more eager to travel than the Malaysians, with 64.74% saying they will travel abroad as soon as allowed compared to 33.33% from their neighbouring country.

Five takeaways from survey findings:

  • Destination drivers are not necessarily faith-focused. The top five factors to decide destination:



Safety (100%)

Value for money (100%)

Cleanliness (99.5%)

Cleanliness (98.4%)

Value for money (98.4%)

Availability of water-usage friendly washrooms/toilets (98.4%)

Availability of water-usage friendly washrooms/toilets (95.3%)

Weather (98.4%)

Weather (94.7%)

Ease of travel (no need for a visa, short flight etc) (98.4%)


  • 55.8% of Indonesian Muslims did not prefer to travel to Muslim-majority countries versus a lower 47.6% from the Malaysian group.
  • Tasting local, authentic cuisine is very important – and halal-certified outlets are preferred (Indonesia 22.5%, Malaysia 28.2%).
  • 8.7% of Indonesians said they would eat at all types of restaurants vs 2.8% of the Malaysians.
  • Hotels are preferred – Indonesia 53.7%, Malaysia 49.2% -- and 100% of respondents rated health and safety protocols as ‘important’ when choosing accommodation.
  • Sightseeing and nature dominate holiday activities.

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