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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     May 5, 2017  

Indonesia climbs to third position in Muslim travel index

Indonesia has increased its score on the 2017 Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) by two points to 72.6 from 70.6 in 2016, raising its position to third place from fourth.

Indonesia displaced Turkey, whose score decreased by 1.5 points to 72.4 this year, while Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have maintained their positions in first and second place, with 82.5 and 76.9, respectively, according to an annual survey by a leading authority on halal tourism, CrescentRating.

CrescentRating cooperates with technology company Mastercard in evaluating and ranking countries based on how well they cater to Muslim travelers.

The 2017 GMTI survey covered 130 destinations and the index is based on benchmarks from travelers, tourist boards, economists, travel service providers, stakeholders, investors and industry specialists.

The four strategic areas evaluated in the index are access, communications, environment and services.

CrescentRating CEO Fazal Bahardeen told reporters on Wednesday that Indonesia’s score had improved over the past two years, supported by the government’s efforts to promote investment in the tourist sector.

He added that security concerns in Turkey last year might have caused the decline in its score.

Bahardeen said the number of Muslim travelers increased from 117 million in 2015 to 121 million in 2016, with total spending estimated at US$155 billion. Muslim travelers contributed about 10 percent to total global travelers.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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