Consumer Goods

Sustainable Tourism Market Report Cover

Sustainable Tourism Market

Sustainable Tourism Market Report Cover

Sustainable Tourism Market Size, Share, Growth & Industry Analysis, By Type (Eco-Tourism, Green Tourism, Soft Tourism, and Community Tourism), By Traveler (Independent Traveler, Tour Group, and Package Traveler), By Medium (Phone Booking, Online Booking, and In-Person Booking), By Placement, and Regional Analysis, 2024-2031

Author : Siddhi J.

Pages : 120

Base Year : 2023

Release : June 2024

Report ID: KR442

Sustainable Tourism Market Size

Global Sustainable Tourism Market size was recorded at USD 1,580.00 billion in 2023, which is estimated to be at USD 1,889.09 billion in 2024 and projected to reach USD 7,710.02 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 22.25% from 2024 to 2031. In the scope of work, the report includes services offered by companies such Wilderness, Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel, Cheesemans Ecology Safaris, G Adventures, Gondwana Ecotours, Intrepid Group, Natural Habitat Adventures, ROW Adventures, NATIVE TOURS, INC., BOUTECO WORLD and others.

The growth of eco-friendly accommodations is a significant trend in the sustainable tourism market. Increasing environmental consciousness among travelers and the tourism industry's efforts to reduce its ecological footprint are augmenting market growth. Hotels, resorts, lodges, and other lodging facilities are implementing sustainable practices such as energy efficiency, waste reduction, water conservation, and the use of eco-friendly materials.

Many eco-friendly accommodations also emphasize sourcing local and organic food, thereby supporting local farmers and reducing carbon emissions associated with food transportation. The rising demand for such accommodations owing to the growing segment of travelers who prioritize sustainability and are willing to pay a premium for environmentally responsible options.

Additionally, certification programs like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and Green Key Global are encouraging more establishments to adopt green practices by offering recognition and competitive advantages. This trend is beneficial for the environment and provides a unique selling proposition for businesses, enhancing their reputation and attracting a loyal customer base committed to sustainability.

Sustainable tourism is defined as tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities. This form of tourism seeks to minimize negative impacts on the environment and local cultures while maximizing economic benefits and promoting cultural preservation. Sustainable tourism often includes eco-tourism, which focuses on nature-based activities that encourage conservation efforts and environmental education.

Tourists who engage in sustainable tourism tend to be environmentally conscious individuals who prefer low-impact travel activities and are interested in contributing positively to the destinations they visit. These tourists often seek experiences that involve local communities, such as cultural tours, community-based tourism, and wildlife observation. They typically book their trips through specialized travel agencies or online platforms that emphasize eco-friendly options and sustainable practices. Online booking mediums that cater to sustainable tourism provide detailed information about the environmental practices of accommodations and activities, helping travelers make informed decisions that align with their values.

Analyst’s Review

The sustainable tourism market is experiencing robust growth, fueled by increasing awareness of environmental issues and shifting consumer preferences toward more responsible travel options. Key players in the market are adopting innovative strategies and imperatives to ensure long-term success and sustainability. A crucial strategy is to invest in sustainable infrastructure and technologies that reduce the environmental impact. This includes the use of renewable energy sources, water conservation systems, and waste management solutions.

Additionally, forming partnerships with local communities provides authentic experiences for tourists while supporting local economies and promoting cultural preservation. Maintaining transparency in operations and achieving recognized sustainability certifications enhances credibility and attracts a dedicated customer base.

Furthermore, companies are aiming to explore off-season travel promotions to manage tourist flow and reduce pressure on destinations. By integrating these strategies, market players are contributing to environmental conservation and achieving competitive advantages in the tourism industry.

Sustainable Tourism Market Growth Factors

Policies and regulations aimed at reducing the environmental impact and promoting sustainability in tourism are encouraging the adoption of green practices across the industry. Governments worldwide are implementing measures such as carbon emission targets, eco-tourism guidelines, and sustainable development initiatives to mitigate the negative effects of tourism on the environment and local communities. These regulations often come in the form of incentives, subsidies, or mandates that encourage tourism businesses to invest in sustainable infrastructure, adopt eco-friendly practices, and obtain certification for their sustainability efforts.

  • For instance, governments offer tax breaks for hotels implementing energy-efficient systems or provide grants for eco-tourism projects that support conservation efforts.

By aligning with government regulations, tourism operators are contributing to environmental preservation to gain a competitive edge in the market by appealing to eco-conscious travelers who prioritize sustainability when choosing destinations and accommodations. Furthermore, supportive government policies create a conducive environment for innovation and collaboration within the industry, driving continuous improvement in sustainable tourism market.

However, the lack of awareness among consumers regarding the concept of sustainability and its implications for travel poses challenges to sustainable tourism market. This leads to a disconnect between consumer preferences and sustainable options available, resulting in continued demand for traditional, less eco-friendly tourism experiences. Furthermore, without sufficient knowledge about sustainable practices, consumers overlook opportunities to support responsible tourism initiatives or make informed decisions when booking their trips.

The industry is implementing concerted efforts to educate consumers about the benefits of sustainable tourism and the steps they take to minimize their environmental footprint while traveling. This involves implementing educational campaigns, providing transparent information about sustainability initiatives, and integrating sustainability criteria into travel booking platforms to help consumers make more conscious choices.

Sustainable Tourism Market Trends

The rise in demand for authentic cultural experiences is a notable trend in the sustainable tourism market, driven by travelers seeking meaningful connections with local cultures and communities. Tourists are increasingly eschewing conventional tourist attractions in favor of immersive experiences that offer genuine insights into the traditions, customs, and way of life of destination locals. Authentic cultural experiences include homestays, village tours, cooking classes, traditional festivals, and artisan workshops, allowing tourists to interact directly with residents and participate in daily activities.

This trend reflects a growing appreciation for cultural diversity and a desire to support local economies while preserving cultural heritage. Moreover, authentic cultural experiences contribute to sustainable tourism by fostering mutual respect and understanding between tourists and host communities, promoting cross-cultural exchange, and generating economic opportunities for local artisans and entrepreneurs.

Segmentation Analysis

The global market is segmented based on type, traveler, medium, placement, and geography.

By Type

Based on type, the market is categorized into eco-tourism, green tourism, soft tourism, and community tourism. The eco-tourism segment captured the largest sustainable tourism market share of 41.05% in 2023. Eco-tourism, which emphasizes responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment and improve the well-being of local people, has gained significant popularity in recent years. Travelers are increasingly seeking experiences that allow them to connect with nature while minimizing their environmental footprint.

Additionally, growing concerns about climate change and biodiversity loss have prompted travelers to prioritize destinations and activities that support conservation efforts. Furthermore, governments and organizations have been actively promoting eco-tourism through various initiatives, such as protected area management, wildlife conservation projects, and eco-certification programs. This concerted effort to raise awareness and promote eco-friendly travel options has contributed to the dominance of the eco-tourism segment in the market.

By Traveler

Based on traveler, the sustainable tourism market is classified into independent traveler, tour group, and package traveler. The independent traveler segment is poised to record a staggering CAGR of 23.75% through the forecast period. Independent travelers, who prefer to plan and organize their trips without the assistance of traditional tour operators, are increasingly drawn to sustainable tourism options that offer authentic and immersive experiences. This segment comprises individuals who value flexibility, freedom, and personalized experiences, often seeking unfrequented destinations and unique cultural encounters.

The rise of digital platforms and online resources has empowered independent travelers to research and book their trips more easily, enabling them to explore sustainable tourism options that align with their preferences and values. Additionally, changing demographics, such as increasing population of millennials and Gen Z who prioritize experiential travel and value authenticity, have contributed to the growth of the independent traveler segment.

By Medium

Based on medium, the sustainable tourism market is divided into phone booking, online booking, and in-person booking. The phone booking segment garnered the highest revenue of USD 732.33 billion in 2023. Despite the growing prevalence of online booking platforms and mobile apps, phone booking remains a popular choice for many travelers, particularly those seeking personalized assistance and expert advice when planning their trips. Phone booking offers a human touch and direct interaction with representatives, which are especially valuable for complex itineraries, group bookings, or special requests.

Furthermore, phone booking appeals to certain segments of the population, such as older travelers or those with limited internet access, who prefer traditional methods of communication. Additionally, some travelers prefer discussing their travel plans and preferences over the phone, particularly when making reservations for high-value or special occasions. The enduring appeal of phone booking, coupled with advancements in customer service and technology, has contributed to its continued success in generating significant revenue in the sustainable tourism industry.

Sustainable Tourism Market Regional Analysis

Based on region, the global market is classified into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, MEA, and Latin America.

Sustainable Tourism Market Size & Share, By Region, 2024-2031

The North America Sustainable Tourism Market share stood around 38.35% in 2023 in the global market, with a valuation of USD 605.93 billion. This dominance can be attributed to several factors, including the region's vast natural landscapes, well-established infrastructure, and strong emphasis on environmental conservation and sustainability. North America boasts diverse tourism offerings, including national parks, eco-friendly accommodations, and adventure tourism activities, which appeal to a wide range of travelers seeking sustainable travel experiences.

Furthermore, supportive government policies and initiatives aimed at promoting eco-tourism and protecting natural habitats have contributed to the growth of the sustainable tourism market in the region. Additionally, increasing consumer awareness and demand for responsible travel options are propelling the expansion of sustainable tourism initiatives across North America.

  • In August 2023, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) collaborated with its members ForwardKeys and Mabrian Technologies, to present fresh insights into the robust growth of the U.S. Travel & Tourism sector. According to WTTC's Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2023 Global Trends Report, the sector's GDP contribution surged by 16.9% in 2022, reaching a noteworthy milestone of USD 2 trillion.

Moreover, Asia-Pacific is projected to grow at the highest CAGR of 23.89% over 2024-2031. The region's burgeoning middle class, rising disposable incomes, and expanding tourism infrastructure contribute to its rapid growth. The presence of diverse cultures, landscapes, and heritage sites make the region a popular destination for travelers seeking authentic and immersive experiences.

Moreover, governments in the region are increasingly recognizing the economic benefits of sustainable tourism and are implementing policies and initiatives to promote eco-friendly practices and support local communities. Additionally, advancements in technology and digital platforms have made it easier for travelers to research and book sustainable tourism experiences in the Asia-Pacific. 

  • In September 2023, Invest India projected that the country’s tourism sector is anticipated to rebound to pre-pandemic levels, with foreign exchange earnings reaching USD 30 billion and foreign arrivals hitting USD 15 million by mid-2024, contributing a total of USD 50 billion to the GDP. Furthermore, the sector is foreseen to expand steadily at 7-9% CAGR over the next decade. By 2030, it is forecast to significantly elevate its contribution to USD 250 billion.

Competitive Landscape

The global sustainable tourism market report will provide valuable insight with an emphasis on the fragmented nature of the industry. Prominent players are focusing on several key business strategies such as partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, product innovations, and joint ventures to expand their product portfolio and increase their market shares across different regions. Manufacturers are adopting a range of strategic initiatives, including investments in R&D activities, the establishment of new manufacturing facilities, and supply chain optimization, to strengthen their market standing.

List of Key Companies in Sustainable Tourism Market

  • Wilderness
  • Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel
  • Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris
  • G Adventures
  • Gondwana Ecotours
  • Intrepid Group
  • Natural Habitat Adventures
  • ROW Adventures

Key Industry Developments

  • June 2024 (Launch): Intrepid Travel unveiled a new line of rail travel experiences, featuring 40 trips and 3 innovative itineraries: Trans-Mongolian Railway Adventure, Express to the Orient: Paris to Istanbul, and Paris to Rome by Rail. This initiative was intended to cater to the growing demand for train travel, supported by recent data indicating that 75% of travelers aim to include train journeys in their upcoming trips. The launch underscores the company's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by substituting internal flights with eco-friendlier alternatives wherever feasible.
  • May 2024 (Launch): Natural Habitat Adventures announced a new Kenya Rhino Conservation Safari for 2025. This luxury safari combines traditional game drives with exclusive access to conservationists working to protect Kenya's endangered black rhinos. Travelers will visit conservancies and a national park, flying by bush plane between locations. This trip offers a unique opportunity to witness conservation efforts firsthand while enjoying a classic African safari.
  • April 2024 (Launch): Intrepid Travel launched the 12-day Saudi Arabia Women’s Expedition, crafted to deliver an immersive and empowering travel experience. This initiative aims to champion women's empowerment and bolster female entrepreneurship within the destination while providing travelers with an authentic and transformative journey.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Market is Segmented as:

By Type

  • Eco-Tourism
  • Green Tourism
  • Soft Tourism
  • Community Tourism

By Traveler

  • Independent Traveler
  • Tour Group
  • Package Traveler

By Medium

  • Phone Booking
  • Online Booking
  • In-Person Booking

By Placement

  • Domestic
  • International

By Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
    • Mexico
  • Europe
    • France
    • UK
    • Spain
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Russia
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • North Africa
    • South Africa
    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Argentina
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Check Icon Additional Company Profiles
  • Check Icon Additional Countries
  • Check Icon Cross Segment Analysis
  • Check Icon Regional Market Dynamics
  • Check Icon Country-Level Trend Analysis
  • Check Icon Competitive Landscape Customization
  • Check Icon Extended Forecast Years
  • Check Icon Historical Data Up to 5 Years
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
The global market is projected to reach USD 7,710.02 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 22.25% from 2024 to 2031.
The global market was valued at USD 1,580.00 billion in 2023.
Growth of eco-friendly accommodations and supportive government regulations are augmenting the market growth.
Top key players of sustainable tourism market are Wilderness, Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel, Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris, G Adventures, Gondwana Ecotours, Intrepid Group, Natural Habitat Adventures, ROW Adventures, NATIVE TOURS, INC., BOUTECO WORLD, and others.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region with the CAGR of 23.89% in the forecasted period (2024-2031) with the market value forecasted to reach at USD 2,305.77 billion by 2031.
By medium, the phone booking segment will hold the maximum share in the sustainable tourism market with the revenue value of USD 3,245.93 billion by 2031.
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