The global ecotourism market size was estimated at USD 195.9 billion in 2022 and it is expected to attain around USD 656.19 billion by 2032, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.90% over the forecast period 2023 to 2032.
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Ecotourism is a type of sustainable travel that aims to conserve natural areas, promote the well-being of local communities, and provide educational opportunities. It is supported by a global network of individuals and institutions that seek to educate tourists and tourism professionals on ecological issues. By providing economic incentives for the preservation of bio-cultural diversity, it generates financial benefits for local and private industries. The popularity of ecotourism is increasing, particularly in comparison to traditional mass tourism, due to the growth of the travel and tourism industry.
The idea of environmentally friendly tourism, which tries to minimise adverse effects on the environment as a whole, encompasses ecotourism, a type of travel that lays a strong focus on protecting and sustaining nature. This kind of tourism entails visiting isolated, untouched locations where the animals, vegetation, and cultural legacy are highlighted. The ecotourism market solely looks at international outbound travel and includes costs incurred by visitors from the United States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and LAMEA.
Iceland, Kenya, Palau, and Nepal are among the trending hotspots in distinct eco-tourism locations throughout the world. The expansion of travel and tourism to unique areas has demonstrated great worldwide resilience. For instance, Nepal had a staggering 23% rise in visitors in 2019, with 1,163,072 people visiting the country overall. In a similar vein, Kenya reported a rise in visitor arrivals of over 38% in 2019, surpassing two million. In addition, ecotourism is increasingly focusing on places like the Republic of Costa Rica, the Ecuadorian Galapagos Islands, and Panama.
In recent years, Ethiopia has performed competently by focusing on niche markets that showcase the country's historical, natural, and cultural tourism assets. Wildlife tourism, birdwatching, coral reefs, and pristine undisturbed natural areas like the Amazon forests have attracted travelers to third world countries across the globe. A fundamental change in consumer behaviour has been sparked by the rising interest in and demand for sustainable travel. This greater focus on sustainability has changed how travel is promoted and marketed, as well as how new products are developed. Public-private partnerships that support flights to far-flung tourist sites enhance accessibility and transit capacity, which leads to market development and profitable business prospects for regional players.
The ecotourism market is driven by the various factors; some of it is as follows:
Report Scope of the Ecotourism Market:
|Market Size in 2023||USD 220.19 Billion|
|Market Size by 2032||USD 656.19 Billion|
|Growth Rate from 2023 to 2032||CAGR of 12.90%|
|Largest Market||North America|
|Fastest Growing Market||Asia Pacific|
|Forecast Period||2023 to 2032|
|Segments Covered||By Activity Type, By Group, and By Booking Mode|
|Regions Covered||North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Middle East & Africa|
Key Market Drivers:
Key Market Challenges:
Key Market Opportunities:
Activity Type Insights:
In 2022, land ecotourism generated approximately 71% of the revenue share, propelled by the increased consumer demand for sustainable land-based tourism such as wildlife safaris, national park visits, and wildlife watching. Land-based activities are convenient and more affordable, leading to a significant surge in consumer inclination towards these activities in recent years. CNH Tours reported an annual growth rate of 16.7% between 2009 to 2018 for land-based tourism activities, indicating a promising growth trajectory for this segment.
The marine segment is expected to witness significant growth, with a notable CAGR of 14.93% from 2023 to 2032. The surge is primarily driven by changing consumer preferences, increasing interest in adventure activities, and leisure and vacation journeys on coastal waters. The beauty, diversity, and cultural richness of coastal areas worldwide make them a preferred holiday destination for both domestic and international tourists, making coastal and maritime tourism a significant industry.
In 2022, the group segment dominated the revenue share, accounting for over 81%. This growth can be attributed to the increasing preference for group travel among consumers, the emergence of travel groups on social media platforms, and the rising number of young eco-tourists. Moreover, young travelers have shown remarkable resilience towards group travel in recent times. To attract group travelers, tour operators worldwide are offering various travel packages that include several group activities, further bolstering the global industry's growth.
The solo travel segment is expected to witness notable growth, with a projected CAGR of 17% from 2023 to 2032. Over the last decade, solo travel has gained tremendous popularity among numerous travelers seeking immersive travel experiences and embracing their freedom. Given the rising demand for solo travel, vacation firms and tour operators are now focusing exclusively on catering to solo travelers.
Booking Mode Insights:
The largest revenue share of over 61% in 2022 was held by direct booking. The reason for the strong growth in direct tour package booking is due to the fact that a large elderly consumer base still prefers for booking their travel, flight, also hotel booking through direct bookings.
Besides, rising numbers of the eco-tourists are opting more for direct channels to gain more personalized experiences, and the key companies and tour operators are also offering various tailored services as well as discounts when booked through the direct booking mode to further increase their consumer reach. This has resulted further in the growth of this market.
North America is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period due to the presence of a large number of national parks, nature reserves, and other eco-tourism destinations in the region. The US and Canada are the major contributors to the market growth in this region.Europe is another significant market for ecotourism, driven by the growing trend of sustainable travel and the presence of diverse and unique natural landscapes and wildlife reserves. Countries such as Spain, France, and Italy are the major contributors to the market growth in this region.
The Asia Pacific region is anticipated to showcase significant growth in the coming years, attributed to the rise in the number of eco-tourists visiting countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Moreover, the growing focus of governments in the region on developing eco-tourism infrastructure and promoting sustainable tourism practices is expected to drive market growth.
Latin America is expected to witness promising growth in the ecotourism market, with countries such as Costa Rica and Ecuador emerging as popular eco-tourism destinations. The Middle East and Africa region is also expected to showcase growth in the ecotourism market, driven by the presence of natural wonders such as the Serengeti and Masai Mara wildlife reserves, and efforts by governments to promote sustainable tourism practices.
Key Market Players:
Segments Covered in the Report:
By Activity Type
By Booking Mode
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