The global ecotourism market size reached US$ 172.4 Billion in 2022. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach US$ 374.2 Billion by 2028, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9% during 2023-2028. The increasing environmental awareness, escalating demand for sustainability, government initiatives and conservation policies promoting responsible tourism practices, advancements in technology, and rising disposable incomes are factors accelerating the market growth.
|Market Size in 2022
||US$ 172.4 Billion
|Market Forecast in 2028
||US$ 374.2 Billion
|Market Growth Rate (2023-2028)
Ecotourism refers to a sustainable form of travel that focuses on exploring natural environments while minimizing the negative impact on those ecosystems and supporting local communities. This responsible approach aims to conserve biodiversity, promote environmental awareness, and foster cultural appreciation. The advantages of ecotourism are numerous, such as it encourages conservation efforts by generating funds for the protection of natural areas. Local communities’ benefit from increased economic opportunities, leading to improved living standards. Moreover, ecotourism educates visitors about the importance of preserving fragile ecosystems, fostering a sense of environmental responsibility. There are several types of ecotourism experiences, which include wildlife-based, adventure, and cultural ecotourism
The global ecotourism market is influenced by the growing environmental awareness and concerns, which have led to a rising demand for sustainable and responsible travel options. This is further supported by the surging demand for unique and authentic experiences, driving the demand for ecologically rich and culturally immersive destinations. Moreover, government initiatives and policies promoting conservation and sustainable tourism practices are shaping the market's growth. In line with this, advancements in technology have made it easier for travelers to access information about ecotourism destinations and make informed choices, which, in turn, is augmenting the market growth. Additionally, increasing disposable incomes and a growing middle class are contributing to the expansion of the market. Apart from this, collaborations between stakeholders, such as tour operators, local communities, and conservation organizations, are enhancing ecotourism offerings, further fueling market expansion.
Ecotourism Market Trends/Drivers:
Growing environmental awareness and demand for sustainability
The global ecotourism market is propelled by the escalating environmental consciousness among travelers. As individuals become increasingly concerned about the impact of traditional tourism on ecosystems, they are actively seeking more sustainable and responsible travel options. This heightened awareness has led to a surge in demand for ecotourism, which emphasizes low-impact practices, conservation efforts, and the support of local communities. Travelers are drawn to destinations that prioritize environmental preservation, ensuring that their trips align with their values and minimize their ecological footprint. This trend underscores the importance of eco-friendly accommodations, carbon-neutral transportation, and eco-conscious activities, fostering a harmonious coexistence between tourism and nature.
Quest for unique and authentic experiences
The global ecotourism market is energized by a strong desire among travelers for genuine and immersive experiences. Modern tourists are no longer content with passive sightseeing; instead, they yearn to engage with local cultures, ecosystems, and traditions. This demand for authenticity has led to a surge in ecologically rich destinations that offer opportunities for meaningful interactions with nature and local communities. Tourists are drawn to activities like wildlife safaris, cultural exchanges, and hands-on conservation efforts. This shift in preference has prompted destinations to highlight their natural beauty and cultural heritage, catering to travelers who seek an intimate understanding of the places they visit. The trend exemplifies a shift from mass tourism to personalized, transformative journeys that leave lasting memories.
Government initiatives and conservation policies
Governmental efforts and policies promoting conservation and sustainable tourism practices are pivotal drivers of the global ecotourism market. Recognizing the potential economic and environmental benefits of responsible tourism, many countries have established regulations and incentives to encourage the growth of ecotourism. These initiatives encompass protected area management, wildlife preservation, and community-based tourism projects. Governments often collaborate with local communities, NGOs, and private enterprises to create a conducive environment for sustainable tourism. By setting standards for environmental protection, infrastructure development, and visitor education, these policies ensure that ecotourism contributes positively to biodiversity conservation, local economies, and cultural preservation.
Ecotourism Industry Segmentation:
IMARC Group provides an analysis of the key trends in each segment of the global ecotourism market report, along with forecasts at the global, regional, and country levels for 2023-2028. Our report has categorized the market based on traveler type, age group, and sales channel
Traveler Type Insights:
Group dominates the market
The report has provided a detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the traveler type. This includes solo and group. According to the report, group represented the largest segment.
The growth of the group segment in the ecotourism market is underpinned by the surging demand of shared experiences. Travelers often seek opportunities to bond over nature-based activities, wildlife encounters, and cultural immersions, making group ecotourism a compelling option. Moreover, cost-sharing and economies of scale play a significant role. Group bookings allow for negotiated rates, making ecotourism more affordable and accessible. In line with this, safety and convenience are enhanced in group settings, particularly in remote or ecologically sensitive locations. The presence of trained guides and a sense of community foster a secure environment. Additionally, the educational aspect of ecotourism is enriched in groups, enabling shared learning experiences and promoting environmental awareness collectively. As social media platforms emphasize group travel, the trend gains further momentum, showcasing the shared memories and camaraderie associated with ecotourism, thereby driving growth in the group segment.
Age Group Insights:
- Generation X
- Generation Y
- Generation Z
Generation Y dominates the market
The report has provided a detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the age group. This includes generation X, generation Y, and generation Z. According to the report, generation Y represented the largest segment.
The growth of the generation Y segment, also known as millennials, is influenced by the surging demand for technology-driven products and services by generation Y. Moreover, a focus on experiences over material possessions has led to increased spending on travel, dining, and unique leisure activities. Additionally, social consciousness and environmental awareness drive their choices, prompting companies to offer sustainable and socially responsible products. In line with this, flexible work arrangements and a strong desire for work-life balance have influenced their consumption patterns, favoring convenience and time-saving solutions. Furthermore, the power of social media and peer recommendations significantly impact their purchasing decisions. Besides this, the access to information and a heightened sense of global connectivity have broadened their horizons, leading to an interest in diverse cultures and products.
Sales Channel Insights:
Travel agent dominates the market
The report has provided a detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the sales channel. This includes travel agent and direct. According to the report, travel agent represented the largest segment.
The growth of the travel agent segment is propelled by the rising demand for personalized expertise and guidance during travel. This human touch helps travelers navigate complex itineraries, secure exclusive deals, and receive tailored recommendations. Moreover, the travel agent industry is adapting to changing preferences by offering a seamless blend of offline and online services, enhancing convenience and accessibility. In line with this, the intricate nature of international travel, including visa requirements, regulations, and diverse cultures, underscores the importance of expert agents who ensure hassle-free journeys. Additionally, corporate travel management relies on agents to streamline arrangements, negotiate corporate rates, and manage travel policies efficiently. Furthermore, the resurgence of interest in experiential and niche travel necessitates specialized knowledge that agents offer. Apart from this, in times of uncertainty, such as the current global health situation, travelers turn to agents for guidance, rebooking assistance, and up-to-date travel information.
- North America
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- Latin America
- Middle East and Africa
North America exhibits a clear dominance, accounting for the largest ecotourism market share
The market research report has also provided a comprehensive analysis of all the major regional markets, which include North America (the United States and Canada); Europe (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia, and others); Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, and others); Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and others); and the Middle East and Africa. According to the report, North America accounted for the largest market share.
The growth of the ecotourism market in North America can be attributed to the escalating environmental awareness and a strong emphasis on sustainable practices. This has led to an increased demand for ecotourism experiences that align with these values. Moreover, North America boasts diverse and pristine natural landscapes, from national parks to coastal reserves, providing ample opportunities for travelers to engage in eco-friendly activities such as wildlife watching, hiking, and conservation efforts. Additionally, supportive government policies and regulations that prioritize conservation and responsible tourism have created an enabling environment for ecotourism growth. Furthermore, technological advancements have facilitated seamless access to information, allowing travelers to make informed decisions about eco-friendly destinations and accommodations. Furthermore, collaborations between local communities, tour operators, and conservation organizations contribute to the development of unique and immersive ecotourism offerings. In line with this, North America's robust travel infrastructure and increasing affluence among its population further fuel the growth of ecotourism in the region.
The competitive landscape of the global ecotourism market is characterized by a dynamic interplay of various factors. As the demand for sustainable and responsible travel experiences continues to rise, market players are focused on differentiation through eco-friendly offerings, unique itineraries, and community engagement. The emphasis on preserving natural habitats and supporting local cultures has driven collaborations between tour operators, conservation organizations, and indigenous communities. Technological innovations play a pivotal role, facilitating the dissemination of information about ecotourism destinations and enabling seamless booking processes. Government policies and regulations promoting environmental conservation and responsible tourism practices further shape the competitive environment. The growing emphasis on transparency and accountability has led to the adoption of certification standards that validate eco-friendly practices. Amidst these factors, market participants strive to establish their expertise, build strong brand identities, and cater to the evolving preferences of eco-conscious travelers.
The report has provided a comprehensive analysis of the competitive landscape in the market. Detailed profiles of all major companies have also been provided. Some of the key players in the market include:
- Adventure Alternative Ltd
- Aracari Travel
- BCD Travel
- Expedia Group Inc.
- FROSCH International Travel Inc.
- G Adventures
- Intrepid Group Limited
- Rickshaw Travel Group
- Small World Journeys Pty Ltd
- Steppes Travel
- Undiscovered Mountains Ltd
- In February 2022, P Morgan Chase signed a definitive agreement to buy corporate and luxury travel agency Frosch, which represents a new “business line” for the bank.
- In July 2023, Expedia Group launched, One Key™, a groundbreaking new loyalty program that unifies the company’s three flagship travel brands of Expedia®, Hotels.com®, and Vrbo.
- In September 2022, Intrepid Travel acquired a majority stake in Australian adventure tourism business and destination management company, Joob (Jump Out Of Bed)
Ecotourism Market Report Scope:
|Base Year of the Analysis
|Scope of the Report
||Exploration of Historical Trends and Market Outlook, Industry Catalysts and Challenges, Segment-Wise Historical and Predictive Market Assessment:
- Traveler Type
- Age Group
- Sales Channel
|Traveler Types Covered
|Age Groups Covered
||Generation X, Generation Y, Generation Z
|Sales Channels Covered
||Travel Agent, Direct
|| Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East and Africa
||United States, Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico
||Adventure Alternative Ltd, Aracari Travel, BCD Travel, Expedia Group Inc., FROSCH International Travel Inc., G Adventures, Intrepid Group Limited, Rickshaw Travel Group, Small World Journeys Pty Ltd, Steppes Travel, Undiscovered Mountains Ltd, etc.
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Key Questions Answered in This Report:
- How has the global ecotourism market performed so far, and how will it perform in the coming years?
- What are the drivers, restraints, and opportunities in the global ecotourism market?
- What is the impact of each driver, restraint, and opportunity on the global ecotourism market?
- What are the key regional markets?
- Which countries represent the most attractive ecotourism market?
- What is the breakup of the market based on the traveler type?
- Which is the most attractive traveler type in the ecotourism market?
- What is the breakup of the market based on the age group?
- Which is the most attractive age group in the ecotourism market?
- What is the breakup of the market based on the sales channel?
- Which is the most attractive sales channel in the ecotourism market?
- What is the competitive structure of the global ecotourism market?
- Who are the key players/companies in the global ecotourism market?
Key Benefits for Stakeholders:
- IMARC’s industry report offers a comprehensive quantitative analysis of various market segments, historical and current market trends, market forecasts, and dynamics of the ecotourism market from 2017-2028.
- The research report provides the latest information on the market drivers, challenges, and opportunities in the global ecotourism market.
- The study maps the leading, as well as the fastest-growing, regional markets. It further enables stakeholders to identify the key country-level markets within each region.
- Porter's five forces analysis assist stakeholders in assessing the impact of new entrants, competitive rivalry, supplier power, buyer power, and the threat of substitution. It helps stakeholders to analyze the level of competition within the ecotourism industry and its attractiveness.
- Competitive landscape allows stakeholders to understand their competitive environment and provides an insight into the current positions of key players in the market.