Muslim women travellers “exert considerable influence” in trip planning, says a new study from halal travel consultants CrescentRating in partnership with Mastercard.
The finding is based on a survey of some 3,300 women over a four-month period this year.
“Muslim women travellers are most influential in making travel decisions when their journeys involve their family and spouse,” said the study from the Singapore-based company.
“In this environment—as daughters, mothers or spouses in the family—they display almost twice as much influence in trip planning as compared to when they are travelling with others,” it added.
Solo women travellers may still be influenced by parents and other family members in their travel choices, while each of those travelling in all-female groups has an influence on the trip planning process.
Women travelling in mixed-sex groups have the lowest degree of influence, according to the report.
The study found that 71 per cent of respondents usually travel with family, and 28 per cent had travelled solo in the past year.
The women most commonly travelled for leisure (90 per cent), followed by hajj and umrah (21 per cent), and business (11 per cent).
YOUNG WOMEN RISING
The study emphasises the role of younger Muslim women to boost the halal travel sector, identifying key drivers for outbound travel including the rapid growth of the population of young and educated Muslim women, rise of the middle class in countries with large Muslim populations, and higher disposable incomes.
39 per cent of survey respondents were 25 to 34-year-olds and 19 per cent were between 18 and 24.
“The younger women who are driving the growth of this [travel] segment will be entering their peak earnings and spending more on travel within the next decade,” said the study, 73 per cent of whose respondents came from the Asia Pacific region.
Shopping, cultural immersion, and adventure were the top activities for the 18 to 34 demographic.
Among all respondents, 73 per cent said they looked for eco-friendly travel options abroad.
Overall, safety and access to religious amenities take top priority.
“[M]uslim women travellers also look to integrate religious amenities into their trips with 94 per cent of survey respondents reporting halal dining as a travel priority,” said CrescentRating in a statement.
“Accessible religious facilities with female-only prayer rooms (86 per cent) and single-gender spas and beauty salons (79 per cent) also factor highly into their itineraries.”
CrescentRating estimates there were 63 million Muslim women travellers in 2018, accounting for 45 per cent of global Muslim visitor arrivals, and spending an estimated $80 billion on their journeys.
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