The inaugural Mastercard-CrescentRating Muslim Gen Z: The Next Generation of Travelers report revealed that the Muslim Gen Z population is actively looking to travel, with 69% planning to take two or more trips in the next 12 months, and 32% wanting to stay at their destinations between one and two weeks.
Two thirds are looking for cultural immersion in their chosen destinations, while nature excursions are prioritised just as highly as more conventional “leisure seeking” pursuits, such as shopping and events. They are also developing financial independency with 32% paying for trips from their own pockets as opposed to 16% who rely solely on their parents.
Almost half of the respondents (45%) identify themselves as environmental enthusiasts. Nearly a third are willing to minimise flying, while 11% will pay for carbon offsets and 14% will take holidays closer to home to avoid longhaul flights.
Muslim Gen Z are known as intentional spenders where 77% are willing to spend more on sustainable practices such as reducing air travel, participating in voluntourism (or volunteer tourism), and supporting local businesses. When it comes to payment methods overseas, 73% are more inclined to use a debit or credit card while 57% prefer to use cash.
“Being the first generation born in the digital age, Gen Z are often considered the true digital natives with exposure to the internet, social networks, and mobile devices from a very early age. Gen Z are actively redefining what it means to travel. This report presents clear, actionable findings for tourism operators around the world that can help them to capture this incredibly important demographic,” said Fazal Bahardeen, founder and CEO, CrescentRating and HalalTrip.
Muslim Gen Z women also emerged in the study as important decision makers, with over 70% heavily involved in planning for family travel. Almost 70% prefer cultural immersion activities such as experiencing local traditions, heritage, and cuisine. In addition, 63% seek opportunities to learn something new in their travels. They are also drivers for change, with 76% indicating social causes to be important in their travel plans.
Faith-based services are also important for Muslim travellers, with Muslim Gen Z identifying Halal food services, prayer facilities, and washrooms fitted with water gadgets as “need-to-have” factors when considering destinations.
“We’ve seen that all over the world, consumers are making up for the lost time in travel due to the challenges over the last few years. They are enthusiastically wanting to visit new places and discover new experiences while keeping sustainability top of mind, and this demand will influence consumer choice and spend significantly in 2023,” said Safdar Khan, division president, South-east Asia, Mastercard.