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Mastercard and CrescentRating report highlights ASEAN’s rise in muslim cruise market in 2024

Mastercard and CrescentRating Report

Mastercard and CrescentRating’s 2024 report on Muslim-friendly cruises underscores ASEAN’s significant growth in Muslim cruise passengers, with the demographic set to expand to 2.8 million by 2027.

Singapore – In a landmark release, Mastercard and CrescentRating have introduced the first-ever Muslim-Friendly Cruise Report for 2024, marking a significant milestone in their decade-long collaboration that has produced 25 comprehensive reports on Muslim travel, lifestyle, and consumer behavior. This collaboration has notably included the annual Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index, shedding light on the dynamics of Muslim travelers around the globe.

As the global travel industry rebounds, the cruise sector has emerged as a major beneficiary, witnessing passenger numbers in 2023 soar beyond pre-pandemic figures for the first time. Notably, the Muslim demographic has shown remarkable growth within this resurgence, with an estimated 1 million Muslim cruise passengers recorded in 2023. This number is expected to leap to 2.8 million by 2027, underscoring the fast-paced expansion of this segment.

The Muslim-Friendly Cruise Report 2024 delves deep into the Muslim travel market, equipping cruise operators and the broader travel and tourism sectors with essential data and insights. These are designed to enhance understanding and meet the evolving needs of Muslim travelers, ensuring a more inclusive and accommodating cruising experience.

Key findings from the report illuminate several trends and preferences:

  • ASEAN as a Focal Point for Growth: The ASEAN region, encompassing Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia, has emerged as a pivotal area for the growth of Muslim cruise passengers. Between 2019 and 2023, overall cruise passenger numbers surged by 56%, with Muslim passenger numbers experiencing an 8% increase. This indicates a burgeoning interest in cruise vacations among the Muslim communities in these countries.
  • Preference for Digital Booking Platforms: Digital booking platforms are the preferred method for securing cruise vacations, with 48% of seasoned cruise passengers opting to book directly through cruise lines’ websites. A significant 79% of potential future passengers expressed a preference for direct online bookings, highlighting the importance of digital accessibility and ease of booking.
  • Diverse Budgets and Cruise Durations: The report also highlights the need for cruise operators to cater to a wide range of budgets and preferences for cruise durations. A notable portion of experienced cruisers spent less than $500 per person, while others opted for moderately luxurious options. Shorter cruise durations of 1-3 nights are gaining popularity, reflecting a desire for brief yet enriching cruise experiences.
  • Importance of Flexible Payment Options: The choice of payment method is critical to the cruise experience, with a strong preference for debit or credit cards. However, the popularity of alternative payment methods such as cash, e-wallets, QR code payments, and mobile payments indicates a demand for flexibility and convenience in transactions.

This groundbreaking report underscores the significant potential of the Muslim travel market within the cruise industry. It provides a blueprint for cruise operators and related sectors to adapt and thrive by catering to the unique needs and preferences of Muslim travelers, ensuring a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.