TOURISM > Turkey rising destination among Muslim tourists

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency

Only Malaysia attracts more Muslim tourists than Turkey, according a recent study by a research company that focuses on Islamic nations. Iranians top the list of visitors from Muslim countries to Turkey

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The number of tourists from Muslim nations to Turkey is increasing rapidly, figures say. Istanbul, the country’s largest city, is among the most preferred destinations. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

The number of tourists from Muslim nations to Turkey is increasing rapidly, figures say. Istanbul, the country’s largest city, is among the most preferred destinations. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Turkey has become the second most-visited country by Muslim tourists, after Malaysia, according to a study titled “Global Muslim Lifestyle Tourism Market 2012: Landscape & Consumer Needs.”

The study of Muslim tourists and the Muslim tourism market was conducted in 14 countries by the New York-based specialized research, advisory and business media firm DinarStandard and the world’s largest halal-friendly travel website, Singapore-based CrescentRating. According to the research, the global Muslim tourism market was worth $126.1 billion in expenditure in 2011, accounting for 12.3 percent of global tourism expenditure. By 2020, global Muslim tourism expenditure will increase 13.4 percent to $192 billion, the study says.

“This research will help players in the tourism industry improve their services and develop marketing strategies by analyzing the lifestyle of Muslims in the tourism market,” CrescentRating CEO Fazal Bahardeen said of the study.

Findings to help tourism companies

“Muslim tourists make up the largest undiscovered market in the tourism industry. Airlines, destinations, hotels and resorts can benefit tremendously by catering to the unique Muslim lifestyle travel drivers, including halal food, family-friendly environments, accommodation of religious practices, and nuances of gender relations,” said Rafi-uddin Shikoh, CEO and managing director of DinarStandard.

According to the study, Turkey was the second most-visited country by Muslim tourists, with Malaysia holding first place on the list. After Turkey, other popular destinations for Muslim travelers include the U.A.E., Singapore, Russia, China, France, Thailand and Italy. In 2011, 60 percent of total global Muslim tourist expenditure occurred in the Middle East and North Africa.

Germany took first place for outbound tourism expenditure by Muslim communities living in non-Muslim countries. Russia followed in second place, and France, where many North African Muslims live, was third.

In 2011 31.4 million tourists came to Turkey, according to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s border statistics.


The chart below shows the number of tourists to Turkey from Muslim countries and their rate in Turkey’s overall tourism as of 2011:
Country Number of visitors Rate

IRAN 1,879,304 5.97
SYRIA 974,054 3.1
AZERBAIJAN 424,155 1.84
IRAQ 369,033 1.17
KAZAKHSTAN 219,445 1
Turkish Cyprus 203,272 0.65
LEBANON 137,110 0.44
SAUDI ARABIA 116,711 0.37
TURKMENISTAN 112,358 0.44
JORDAN 94,914 0.30


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Notice on comments

mara mcglothin

10/12/2012 12:03:01 AM

PRISONER Don't you mean "suppressed smelly women shrouded from head to toe in 45c weather? When my son was about 8 we were standing on the line to board a bus in Istnabul when he started screaming "not the stinky coats! not the stinky coats!" I turned around to see some young women covered from head to toe wearing trenchcoats over the top for good measure....It was August.

Mohamed Al Hashimi

9/2/2012 9:23:58 AM

Turkey is a good place to visit, we can see green land plus Athan call (Muslims country) !

The Prisoner

8/17/2012 3:25:29 PM

Oh Goody! I can look forward to seeing more suppressed women shrouded from head to toe in 45C heat next season!

Tamer Aslantas

8/16/2012 5:38:19 PM

Thanks for your kind words dear Abbas. We also hope that other muslim nations will prosper and hopefully we together can live in peace in the near future. Let the best nation lead the way to it but not lead in a way as that of a sultan. Selam/Salaam

Aydin Amsterdam

8/11/2012 7:39:16 PM

@faruk, i am sure you left your money behind......

Diren Sesel

8/11/2012 6:27:08 PM

No we don't want to be leaders of the Muslim world, a modern democratic nations do not beg about being leaders of religious nations, Turkey is a secular will remain secular.

Abbas Mujahid Qureshi

8/11/2012 9:27:39 AM

I have visited both Malaysia and Turkey. I visited Turkey with my parents, my family and my sister's family about two months back again. Malaysia is great fun for the kids yet Turkey offers a little bit more then that with history and love to us Pakistanis. Wish I can visit Turkey more often and I would like to thank my Turk brethren for the hospitality towards us. May Allah make Turkey even more prosperous and make Turks the leaders of Muslim world once again. Ameen. with love and best regards.

Faruk Beisser

8/11/2012 8:52:06 AM

Iranians on top of the list? Hmmmm, would that surprise anyone, with Gülen's AKP turning Turkey into an Iranian satellite??Otherwise, it's the same as for all tourists:es, come,come ye tourists, come and get ripped off, eh, leave your money behind..leave your money behind.
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