Family tourism has transpired as a major segment of the Islamic economy, accounting for as much as 12.5% of the $1.07 trillion international tourism market in 2012, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has asserted in its recent study.
The size and potential of this market can be approximated from the fact that it is larger than the world’s largest conventional tourism market, the United States, which is only 11.4% of the international market. The report has been released as part of the preparations for the 10th World Islamic Economic Forum, or WIEF, which will be organized by the Dubai Chamber and the WIEF Foundation in Dubai from October 28 to 30.
Emphasizing the potential for the UAE market, the Dubai Chamber report states the UAE is placed first on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2013 in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) category.
The UAE is placed high in the new promising travel market since family values are entrenched in the UAE culture. In fact, the country ranked second internationally based on criteria set by Crescent rating, a leading Muslim travel rating organisation established in Singapore, receiving a rating of 7.0, the report reveals. Saudi Arabia and Morocco also figure among the top global destinations with a rating of 6.5 and 6.4, correspondingly.
In the meantime, the highest rating of 8.4 was given to Malaysia; this has helped the country fascinate over 170,000 guests from the GCC alone in 2013. Nonetheless, the report stressed that unlike Malaysia, the UAE is both a top source of Muslim tourists, in addition to a top destination, which logically puts it in a vast position to become a center for the international family-travel part. Remarkably, Middle East and North Africa nations account for seven of the top 10 family tourism-friendly destinations among OIC nations.
According to some information, GCC states give in so far as 31% to the total spending by vacationers in tourism-related activities. This is regardless of the moderately low population in the region, which makes up just 3% of the international Muslim people.
Saudi Arabia is also one of the top resource markets for family tourism, accounting for $17.1 billion in spending in 2012, report revealed. While the UAE follows with spending worth $10.1 billion, tourists from Kuwait accounted for $7.4 billion in spending.
Referring to current studies connected to the Islamic economy, the Dubai Chamber study explains that family tourism has increased in value from $137 billion in 2012 to $140 billion in 2013, and is estimated to exceed $181 billion by 2018.