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  • Published In : May 2024
  • Code : CMI7008
  • Pages :134
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Consumer Goods

Market Size and Trends

The ethnic tourism market is estimated to be valued at USD 13.94 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 35.54 Bn by 2031, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.3% from 2024 to 2031.

Ethnic Tourism Market Key Factors

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The demand for ethnic tourism is growing globally as travelers are looking to engage with and experience new cultures. They seek unique experiences that help them learn about history, traditions, cuisine, and way of living of different ethnic groups. The ethnic tourism market is expected to witness substantial growth during the forecast period. The migration of ethnic populations to new places around the world has increased cultural diversity internationally. As ethnic minority cultures become more prominent globally, the interest in experiencing these cultures is rising amongst travelers. More travel companies are recognizing this growing demand and expanding their offerings to include ethnic tourism experiences.

Growing Interest in Experiencing Other Cultures

The modern era of globalization and advancements in technology have significantly reduced perceived geographical and cultural barriers. People are now more curious than ever to learn about diverse cultures and ways of life from different parts of the world. A strong desire to travel overseas and immerse oneself in unique cultural experiences has emerged amongst many consumers. Ethnic tourism provides a meaningful way to satiate this rising interest. By visiting ethnic enclaves or neighborhoods, one can directly interact with local people and feel what their daily lives are like. One gets to savor their cuisines, listen to their music and art, learn about traditions and festivals, and see architecture and historic sites that reflect the ethnic culture. For those wanting a first-hand experience of diverse cultures without having to travel very far, domestic ethnic tourism has become increasingly attractive. It allows people to learn the richness of cultures that exist within their own country through visits to ethnic towns and communities. The growing globalization of values like open-mindedness and cultural appreciation has made ethnic tourism a major driver of interest in traveling to experience and understand other peoples and ways of life.

Market Concentration and Competitive Landscape

Ethnic Tourism Market Concentration By Players

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Increased Diversity and Multiculturalism in Societies

Modern societies around the world have become much more multicultural in their composition over recent decades. Immigration from diverse parts of the globe has infused varied ethnic influences into the demographic profiles and cultural landscapes of countries. This has made people more familiar and comfortable with differing cultural practices and values. It has also bred greater acceptance for diverse traditions to co-exist within a shared social space. With different ethnic influences now an integral part of everyday lives, people also wish to deepen their knowledge of these cultures through first-hand experiences. Ethnic enclaves provide the ideal setting for this. Visiting the hometowns or quarters of ethnic communities that have played a role in shaping one's own societal milieu generates significant interest. It allows one to connect the dots and appreciate how diverse cultural streams have collectively defined contemporary times. The rise of multiculturalism has made people enthusiastic to directly experience at the grassroots level, cultural realities that have grown familiar to them via social interactions. This fuels the attractiveness of ethnic tourism from both within countries and across borderlines.

Key Takeaways of Analyst:

The ethnic tourism market holds significant opportunities for growth in the coming years. There are several driving factors that will propel the market forward. An increasing desire from travelers to engage with local communities and experience different cultures in an authentic way is a key driver. Additionally, improving global connectivity and lower travel costs have made ethnic tourism destinations more accessible.

Asia Pacific is expected to see the fastest gains. Countries such as China and India have strengthened their efforts to promote indigenous cultures and festivals to attract more cultural tourists. The growing Asian middle class also has a higher propensity to travel and experience different ways of life.

Political and social instability in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Central/Latin America could deter tourists from visiting potentially attractive ethnic destinations. Lack of proper infrastructure and accommodations tailored for cultural tourism is also a restraint to growth in some emerging regions. Additionally, over commercialization poses the risk of eroding the authentic experiences sought by ethnic travelers.

Market Challenges: Language barrier

Language barrier poses a significant challenge for the growth of global ethnic tourism market. When tourists visiting a foreign country face language issue, it negatively impacts their traveling experience. The inability to communicate and understand the local culture and people can make tourists feel isolated and unwilling to explore a destination fully. This prevents them from enjoying the authentic local cuisine, participating in cultural activities, and engaging with the local community. As a result, language barrier undermines a key motivation for ethnic tourism which is immersing oneself in a foreign culture.  Many regions rich in ethnic diversity miss out on tourism opportunities because of the dominance of major foreign languages. For example, countries in Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia that do not have English or Spanish as primary languages often struggle to attract independent foreign travelers. The language gap becomes a major deterrent for tourists who want to go off the beaten path and experience untouched indigenous cultures in places like the Amazon rainforest, Maasai Mara reserves or islands of Indonesia and Philippines. This restricts the economic benefits of tourism from spreading more widely across remote areas sustaining unique ethnic heritages.

Market Opportunities: Potential to generate more revenue and employment

Generating more revenue and employment through ethnic tourism could be a great opportunity for the global market. As people are showing more interest in experiencing diverse cultures around the world, ethnic tourism allows visitors to immerse themselves in the daily life, traditions, cuisine and arts of ethnic communities. This provides destinations to leverage their cultural strengths to attract travelers and promote community development at the same time.  Experiencing new cultures and meeting local people in their daily environment gives visitors a more profound understanding of destinations. They get to learn first-hand about unique traditions, taste authentic cuisine and participate in special festivals, crafts or rituals that form the identities of local ethnic groups. Such meaningful interactions create long-lasting impressions and a desire to explore more of the local diversity. This helps increase tourism demand for lesser-known communities as well, distributing socio-economic benefits more widely. Several countries have seen a steady rise in revenues from food, arts and experience-based tourism focusing on their ethnic groups.

Ethnic Tourism Market By Tour Type

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Insights, by Tour Type: Cultural Immersion

Cultural tour is expected to account for 38.5% share of the ethnic tourism market in 2024, owing to travelers' growing interest in immersive cultural experiences. Cultural tours focus on providing deep access to the traditions, heritage, art, music, and daily life of local communities. They tap into tourists' curiosity about how other people live and the roots of their cultures and customs.  A major driver is that cultural tours fulfill modern travelers' desire to have a more meaningful experience when they travel rather than just passively sightseeing. Participants want to learn local languages, engage with local people, participate in cultural demonstrations, and learn new skills. Operators address this by incorporating cultural workshops, homestays with families, and volunteer opportunities into their itineraries. For example, guests might learn a traditional dance and then perform it at a local festival. The breadth of cultural experiences available also contributes to its popularity. Tours focus on diverse regions and ethnicities, from indigenous tribes in Latin America to folk villages in Asia Pacific. This variety allows travelers to continuously satisfy their curiosity about new cultural discoveries. It also means that cultural tourism appeals to a wide demographic across backgrounds, ages, and interests. Sustainable and impact-focused operations additionally appeal to ethically-minded travelers. Many operators facilitate meaningful exchanges that benefit local communities, like supporting schools or infrastructure. This aligns with preferences for travel that strengthens local economies and cultures rather than just exploits them. The growing cultural tourism segment continues to entice travelers seeking novel perspectives and cross-cultural connections. Its wide programming ensuring ongoing growth into new frontiers, community partnerships, and varied cultural settings.

Insights, by Traveler Type: Strength in Numbers Dominates the Group Travel segment

Group travel is expected to account for 65.5% share of the ethnic tourism market in 2024, owing to the unique benefits it provides. Touring with others enables more affordable per-person pricing through economies of scale. This makes formerly expensive cultural destinations more accessible to average travelers. Groups also provide built-in social supports that many find appealing. Travelers enjoy camaraderie with peers and do not have to navigate unfamiliar locales alone. This is especially attractive for seniors, families, and first-time visitors to destinations perceived as more challenging due to language or cultural barriers.  Operators maximize these benefits through specially curated small group experiences. Carefully planned itineraries with built-in free time allow varied preferences under one program. Having multiple participants likewise increases odds of fluent language speakers in each group to aid with translating and enhancing cultural immersion. The steady growth of multi-generational travel likewise boosts demand. Multi-family and friend groups book packages to visit heritage hometowns or explore roots together. Seniors travel with working adult children and grandchildren. This makes ethnic tourism a bonding experience across age groups. In short, community and assurance are powerful drivers fuelling group travel's predominance in ethnic tourism. As variety and experiences flourish within this segment, its sizeable flock will likely continue multiplying into new flocks and destinations.

Regional Insights

Ethnic Tourism Market Regional Insights

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North America has established itself as the dominant region in the ethnic tourism market. The region is expected to account for 38.8% of the market share in 2024. With the U.S. being a nation of immigrants, cultural diversity has always been core to the American identity and experience. This is reflected in the strong demand for culturally immersive travel opportunities across the country. States like California, New York, and Texas have particularly capitalized on their ethnic enclaves and neighborhoods to attract visitors interested in immersing themselves in other cultures through food, music, and cultural activities. Industry players in these states have expertly packaged and promoted ethnic experiences over decades, building robust supply chains and distribution networks in the process. Many cities today boast of well-established ethnic quarters that are major tourist drawcards.

Meanwhile, Asia Pacific is emerging as the fastest growing regional market for ethnic tourism. Countries in South East Asia especially have accelerated their focus on promoting unique indigenous cultural experiences to attract more high spending travelers. Nations like Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam recognize the untapped potential of their culturally diverse populations to boost tourism earnings. Local governments are actively working with communities and industry players to develop new ethnic tourism infrastructure, products, and programs. Major destinations in these countries now offer immersive cultural immersion itineraries leveraging their ethnic minorities. The rising global influence of Asian cultures is also driving more interest among international travelers to engage with various Asian ethnic groups through tourism. This continues to support expansion in what is an already fast-growing tourism region.

Market Report Scope

Ethnic Tourism Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 13.94 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 To 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 To 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 14.3% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 35.54 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, and Rest of Middle East & Africa
Segments covered:
  • By Tour Type: Cultural Tour, Heritage Tour, Food Tour, Arts & Craft Tour, and Others
  • By Traveler Type: Solo and Group 
Companies covered:

Ethnic Travel, Ethnic Travel Laos, Ethnic Ties LLC, MATHINI TRAVEL Pvt. Ltd., Intrepid Travel, Responsible Tourism India, Responsible travel, Basecamp Explorer AS, Wild Frontiers Adventures Travel, Beyonder Experiences, Bouteco, Fareportal/Travelong, AAA Travel, JTB Americas Group, Ovation Travel Group, Kesari Tours Pvt. Ltd., Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Martin Randall Travel Ltd., and Travel Leaders Group

Growth Drivers:
  • Growing interest in experiencing other cultures
  • Increased diversity and multiculturalism in societies 
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Language barrier
  • Safety and security issues in some locations

Key Developments

  • In March 2024, PM Modi launched 52 tourism sector projects
  • In May 2022, EF Go Ahead Tours, one of the leading tour operators, launched a new heritage tour package to Ghana in collaboration with the Beyond the Year of Return campaign
  • In 2023, a historic cultural exchange and tourism collaboration was launched between Vietnam's Lam Dong and India's Leh Ladakh
  • In November 2021, MyHeritage Ltd. partnered with Expedia Group to launch a Heritage Travel Hub that helps travelers plan ultimate heritage tours and explore the lands

*Definition: The ethnic tourism market caters to tourists interested in experiencing the culture, traditions, cuisine, and lifestyle of ethnic groups different than their own. Tour operators in this market design itineraries, activities, and accommodation options to immerse visitors in the daily lives and cultural practices of indigenous populations, ethnic minority communities, immigrant neighborhoods, or diaspora groups in an authentic yet responsible way. The goal is to foster cultural exchange and appreciation between visitors and host communities through meaningful interactions and hands-on cultural experiences.

Market Segmentation

  • Tour Type Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Cultural Tour
    • Heritage Tour
    • Food Tour
    • Arts & Craft Tour
    • Others
  •  Traveler Type Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Solo
    • Group
  • Regional Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
    • Latin America
      • Brazil
      • Argentina
      • Mexico
      • Rest of Latin America
    • Europe
      • Germany
      • U.K.
      • Spain
      • France
      • Italy
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • Australia
      • South Korea
      • ASEAN
      • Rest of Asia Pacific
    • Middle East & Africa
      • GCC Countries
      • Israel
      • Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Key Players Insights
    • Ethnic Travel
    • Ethnic Travel Laos
    • Ethnic Ties LLC
    • MATHINI TRAVEL Pvt. Ltd.
    • Intrepid Travel
    • Responsible Tourism India
    • Responsible travel
    • Basecamp Explorer AS
    • Wild Frontiers Adventures Travel
    • Beyonder Experiences
    • Bouteco
    • Fareportal/Travelong
    • AAA Travel
    • JTB Americas Group
    • Ovation Travel Group
    • Kesari Tours Pvt. Ltd.
    • Carlson Wagonlit Travel
    • Martin Randall Travel Ltd.
    • Travel Leaders Group

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR of the global ethnic tourism market is projected to be 14.3% from 2024 to 2031.

Growing interest in experiencing other cultures and increased diversity and multiculturalism in societies are the major factors driving the growth of the global ethnic tourism market.

Language barrier and safety and security issues in some locations are the major factors hampering the growth of the global ethnic tourism market.

In terms of tour type, cultural tour is estimated to dominate the market revenue share in 2024.

Ethnic Travel, Ethnic Travel Laos, Ethnic Ties LLC, MATHINI TRAVEL Pvt. Ltd., Intrepid Travel, Responsible Tourism India, Responsible travel, Basecamp Explorer AS, Wild Frontiers Adventures Travel, Beyonder Experiences, Bouteco, Fareportal/Travelong, AAA Travel, JTB Americas Group, Ovation Travel Group, Kesari Tours Pvt. Ltd., Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Martin Randall Travel Ltd., and Travel Leaders Group are the major players.

North America is expected to lead the global ethnic tourism market.

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