The United States is the biggest global beneficiary of the Muslim tourism market, according to a report published by halal travel firm Salam Standard. Although, the US captures 25% of global Islamic tourism market, the number may steadily decrease at least temporarily or permanently, depending on the outcome of the upcoming US elections next year.
In the report the company said the Islamic travel market accounted for $145bn in international tourism spending last year, of which the US received a hefty 24 percent share or $35bn.
Muslim tourism also contributed $16bn to the US GDP last year, the firm said.
“The United States benefits more from Muslim tourism than any other economy in the world in terms of direct GDP impact,” said Faeez Fadhlillah, co-founder and CEO of Salam Standard.
“And when you take into account multiplier effects, the total impact of inbound Muslim tourism spend on US GDP is a staggering $50.8bn.”
The company estimated that Muslim travel supported more than 600,000 jobs in the US
Fadhlillah suggested the US should be looking for ways to boost its halal friendly tourism offering in light of the findings, despite recent calls to restrict or vet Muslims entering the country during the US presidential race.
He suggested providing prayer mats, places to worship, halal food and alcohol-free facilities to help encourage Muslim visitors would help boost halal tourism to even further heights.
“The US should also make information on its Muslim travel facilities and services more accessible to raise its profile as a halal-friendly destination. Creating online resources, from websites and apps to digital marketing campaigns, is the way forward,” said Fadhlillah.
The report encouraged increasing airline connections between the country and the Middle East and Asia to boost travel. The global Muslim travel market is expected to grow in volume by 50 per cent and in value by 35 per cent over the next five years.
It may be noted that despite Salam Standard’s findings, a different study by Mastercard and CrescentRating ranked Dubai the top shopping city for Muslim travellers last years.
Originally published on www.albawaba.com