The special interest tourism market is poised to surge exponentially in the coming years, with ESOMAR-certified market research predicting it to reach US$5.61 Bn by the end of 2030. In 2021, the market is likely to rise at a little above 22%, as tourism industry sets on path of recovery with countries gradually reviving from the COVID-19 aftermath.
According to Future Market Insights, surging focus on sustainability will remain chief driver of special interest tourism. An increasing number of rural advocates, government officials, and farmers are enthused about prospects of direct farm marketing. Direct marketing aids in rural development by attracting agricultural tourists.
Recreational activities such as pick your own food, cut-your-own Christmas trees, and others are organized under this concept, facilitating special interest tourism growth around the world. Agritourism is thriving across the world since it offers unique opportunities for combining aspects of agriculture and tourism industry, offer a plethora of educational, financial, and social benefits to tourists and communities, alike.
Expansion of agritourism is presenting lucrative opportunities for special interest tourism growth. Ranch stays across the U.S. and farm stays in India are popular example for this. Besides this, the rising focus on sustainably travelling will enable growth in the market. With an increasing number of travelers showing keen interest on traveling more responsibly, prospects for special interest tourism growth are expected to soar.
With COVID-19 pandemic exposing vulnerabilities of the tourism industry, focus on sustainable tours and travels is expected to grow. United Nations World Tourism Organization has integrated Sustainable Tourism Goals encouraging adherence to certain standard while promoting tourism. Such initiatives by international organizations will boost special interest tourism market in the coming years.
Some of the key takeaways from ESOMAR-certified market research’s study on special interest tourism market are:
- The expansion of tourism industry in France and U.K. will catapult Europe to fore of special interest tourism market
- Activities will remain key purpose motivating travelers to opt for special interest tourism
- Environmental activities will remain highly sought-after, while demand for adventure tourism is forecast to rise steadily
- Online booking will rise even as conventional methods such as in-person booking remain popular
“Governments around the world are adopting various strategies to revive tourism industry as economies return to normalcy following COVID-19 outbreak. Keen focus on special interest tourism is noted, as governments engage in promoting special activities across tourism destinations,” revealed the lead research analyst.
Surging Demand for Personalizing Tour Packages
According to Think with Google, nearly 57% of travelers are in favor of personalizing their buying experiences based on their personal preferences, behavior, and past choices. The rising demand for personalization has become a crucial driver of the special interest tourism growth. By offering flexible packages and tailoring them as per traveler’s preferences, travel and tour companies stand a better chance of satisfying them. The rising demand for personalizing travel packages and experiences will aid in the expansion of the market in the coming years.
Driven by changing consumer preferences, prominent trip advisors and planners such as Travel Triangle and others are offering facilities for personalizing travel experiences. This is expected to bode well for the global market.
Who is winning?
The report identifies some of the leading companies operating in the market. To gain edge amid surging competition, market players are focusing on designing unique packages. For instance, Martin Randall Travel Ltd. offers competitively-priced trips across U.K. and Europe. Meanwhile, Audley Travel Group Ltd., supports several social and environmental charities and projects across the world. In January 2020, it was also granted the Travelife Partner aware as a recognition of its efforts towards improving corporate social responsibility and sustainability.
Some of the other leading players in the market are Wild frontier, Carlson Holdings, Inc., Cox & Kings Ltd., Flight centre Travel Group, National Geographic Partners, LLC., EF Educational Tours, and Booking Holdings, Inc., among others.