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  • Published In : May 2024
  • Code : CMI6959
  • Pages :135
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Consumer Goods

Market Size and Trends

The global surfing tourism market is estimated to be valued at USD 10.69 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 16.19 Bn by 2031, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1% from 2024 to 2031.

Global Surfing Tourism Market Key Factors

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The market has been witnessing significant growth over the past few years driven by rising popularity of water sports and adventure tourism among millennial and generation Z. Growing health consciousness and increasing disposable income has also been driving more people to opt for surfing as a sport and tourism activity. Development of surfing infrastructure and policies supporting water activities in coastal areas further aids the market growth. However, risk of injuries associated with surfing and seasonal changes impacting surf conditions in some regions remains a challenge. Innovation in surfing gear to enhance safety and all weather boards that can adjust to varying wave conditions are expected to provide new opportunities for market expansion in the coming years.

Growing Interest in Adventure Tourism

The global interest in adventure tourism has seen a sharp rise over the past few years. People today are no longer content with conventional beach vacations and are actively seeking experiences that push them outside of their comfort zone. Surfing fits well within the adventure tourism genre and allows people to challenge themselves on the waves while immersed in beautiful coastal settings. The adrenaline rush of catching a wave and finding flow has a strong draw for adventure seekers. However, it is not just about the thrill. Surfing tourism destinations have also emerged as places that emphasis calm, connection with nature and local island culture. This has a wide appeal beyond just adrenaline junkies. The growth of adventure tourism is fueled by young travelers who want immersive cultural experiences when they travel. They see surfing as a great way to interact with locals and learn about a new destination from the perspective of ocean and waves. This has helped global surfing tourism gain popularity among millennial and Gen Z travelers who make up a large demographic for future travel. As this demographic continues to drive the travel market, their interest in surfing and adventure activities is expected to take the surfing tourism industry to new heights in the coming years.

Market Concentration and Competitive Landscape

Global Surfing Tourism Market Concentration By Players

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Health and Wellness Focus

There is a significant rise in health and wellness travel globally as people seek destinations that can rejuvenate them body and mind. Surfing perfectly aligns with this major trend. Coastal regions that offer surfing are renowned for their fresh air, scenic beaches, and overall calm quiet atmosphere perfect for relaxation. For city dwellers, surfing provides a means to energize through exercise and reconnect with nature. The physical workout of catching waves and paddle power needed provides a full body exercise while exposure to sunlight, fresh air, and sound of ocean waves are believed to have meditative benefits. This has turned surfing destinations into desirable wellness spots for both leisure travelers and surfers looking to distress from their daily routine. Destinations have recognized this trend and are catering their marketing also as surf and wellness retreats. They provide wellness activities like yoga on the beach, spa services combined with surf lessons and coast nature trails. This well positioned surf destinations to attract a broader market and not just surfing enthusiasts but also wellness focused and eco-conscious travelers.

Global Surfing Tourism Market Key Takeaways From Lead Analyst

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Challenges: Seasonal nature of sport

The seasonal nature of surfing conditions can pose challenges for the continuous growth of global surfing tourism market. Surfing requires certain wave conditions such as minimum wave height, shape of waves etc. which are strongly dependent on weather, tide levels and seasonal swell patterns. Most popular surfing destinations experience ideal wave conditions only during certain months in a year. For example, Brazil witnesses great surfing conditions from May to October while Indonesia is best from April to September. This restricts the number of months in a year when tourists can actually experience quality surfing.  With waves only accessible during limited months, tourism infrastructure like accommodation facilities, transports, eateries, etc. in coastal towns face underutilization for rest of the year affecting their financial viability and longevity. This lack of year-round consistency in surf tourism experience makes long term infrastructure planning and development difficult for destinations. Even tourists find it hard to plan yearly surfing holidays as seasons differ for each location. Countries like Costa Rica, Mexico which have surf spots on both Pacific as well as Atlantic/Caribbean coasts have a natural advantage of providing surf all year by utilizing different breaks according to the season.

Opportunities: Emergence of low-cost destinations

The emergence of low-cost destinations has the potential to provide great opportunities for growth in the global surfing tourism market. Surfing destinations that offer affordable accommodations, meals and other amenities allow more budget-conscious travelers to experience surf vacations. By increasing accessibility, these low-cost locations can help bring more first-time and occasional surf tourists into the market. Destinations such as Indonesia, El Salvador and Nicaragua have seen their surf tourism industries thrive in recent years partly due to their relatively low prices compared to traditional hubs like Hawaii and Australia. According to data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Indonesia welcomed over 16 million international visitors in 2021, up 57% from 2020 levels as the country eased COVID-19-related travel restrictions. Its affordable surf towns like Canggu on Bali have experienced a surge in foreign surfing guests. Similarly, El Salvador has promoted itself as Central America's premier surfing paradise, with weekend surf packages including flights, lodging, and meals available for under USD 500.

Global Surfing Tourism Market By Tour Type

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Insights by Tour Type: Surfing Tourism's Global Appeal: The Rising Popularity of International Surfing Tourists

In terms of tour type, the international segment is expected to contribute 68.3% share of the global surfing tourism market in 2024 owing to sport's growing appeal worldwide. Surfing has transformed from a niche watersport into a mainstream international phenomenon, owing to adrenaline-fueled videos and competitions broadcast globally. This widening popularity has fueled international surf travel as amateur and pro surfers alike seek surf breaks and waves beyond their home shores. Countries with renowned surf cultures like the U.S., Australia, and Indonesia annually welcome an increasing number of international surf visitors looking to sample surf spots featured in films and online. Younger generations in particular have been swept up by surfing's daredevil image as a symbol of adventure and freedom. Meanwhile, improved global transport connectivity and falling airfares have made once distant surf destinations far more accessible for international enthusiasts. Major surf regions have recognized surf tourism's economic potential, upgrading infrastructure, and services to better accommodate these high-yielding international visitors who tend to spend more on local supplies, food, and accommodation compared to domestic surf tourists. All these factors have converged to drive the unprecedented growth of international surf travel and solidify its hold as the foremost market segment in global surfing tourism.

Insights by Consumer Orientation: Men Dominate the Boards: Explaining Surfing's Gender Demographics

In terms of consumer orientation, the men segment is expected to contribute 65.3% share of the global surfing tourism market in 2024 primarily due to sport's gendered origins and perceptions. Historically, surfing emerged and evolved as a predominantly male-dominated pastime both among recreational participants and competitive professionals. Early equipment like heavy wooden surfboards required considerable physical strength that initially deterred many women. Meanwhile, surfing subculture cultivated an image of hedonism, risk-taking, and individuality that resonated more strongly with conventional masculine archetypes. Such gender stereotyping self-reinforced surfing's association with boys and men over the decades. Though women have carved inroads in recent years through title triumphs and sponsorships that showcase surfing in a new light, many surf destinations, competitions, and media platforms still cater largely to a male demographic. Social conditioning also casts surfing as unsuitable for women in some traditional societies. Combined with practical difficulties of women surfers battling larger crowds and unwelcome attitudes at popular breaks, these legacy issues underpin men's continued dominance across regional surf tourism markets. However, improvements in supportive infrastructure plus growing female role models presage a more equitable gender balance in the future.

Insights by Tourist Type: Tour Groups Convenience Travelers to Waves: Analyzing Surfing Tourism Clientele

In terms of tourist type, the tour group segment is expected to occupy 61.4% share of the global surfing tourism market in 2024 because they provide an easy, organized means for travelers to access surf locales. Unlike independent surf trips requiring extensive online research and local navigation that can overwhelm novice surf tourists, guided surf tours take care of accommodations, transportation, and introductory lessons in a stress-free package. This turnkey solution appeals to visitors from non-surfing backgrounds who lack insider knowledge of breaks, weather patterns, and safety protocols. Tour groups also solve the difficulties of solo female surfers or travelers looking for the security of numbers and readily available socialization at surf camps. Meanwhile, multi-destination surf tours satisfy the demand of experienced surfistas seeking to rapidly sample renowned pointbreaks and reefs across multiple countries with minimum organization. Furthermore, package tours offer good value via discounted bulk rates when organized well in advance. This convenience and reliability draws the majority of casual surf tourists preferring a hassle-free introduced to the surf lifestyle through guided group experiences customized to different surfing abilities and budgets.

Regional Insights

Global Surfing Tourism Market Regional Insights

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North America has historically been the dominant region for surfing tourism. It is expected to hold 36.7% of the market share in 2024. Countries like the U.S. and Mexico have well-established surf cultures and infrastructure centered on top surf destinations such as Hawaii, California, Florida, and Baja California. The region enjoys warm weather and ocean conditions conducive to surfing nearly year-round. This has helped develop the industry over decades, creating dense surfboard manufacturing clusters, and a large network of surf shops, hotels, and tours catering to both domestic and international surf travelers. The popularity and visibility of pro-surfing competitions in the Americas further cemented the region's leadership in drawing surfing enthusiasts from around the world.

However, growth in other parts of the world has begun to alter the landscape. Asia Pacific has emerged as rapidly developing surf tourism hotspots, with Indonesia standing out as a breakthrough market. Ideal surf spots combined with improving standards of living have fueled interest amongst local and foreign surfers alike. Investments in transportation and hospitality sectors now place destinations like Bali, Java and parts of Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines on the global surfing map. The tropical climate and abundance of untouched surf breaks offer a unique value proposition compared to more established markets. With a huge domestic population and growing international presence from neighboring countries, Indonesia's tourism sector is leveraging the sports' boom to diversify local economies. Meanwhile, aggressive strategies to promote surf destinations across government and private entities have put the country at the forefront of this fast-growing regional market.

Market Report Scope

Global Surfing Tourism Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 10.69 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 To 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 To 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 6.1% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 16.19 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: Domestic and International
  • By Consumer Orientation: Men and Women
  • By Tourist Type: Independent Traveler, Tour Group, and Package Traveler
  • By Accommodation Type: Hotels, Hostels, Private Rentals/Homestays, and Others 
Companies covered:

Driftwood Mentawai, 360° Travel - Sports Travel Agency, Perfect Wave, ZOCOTRAVEL , Wavehunters , Global Surf, Waterways Surf Adventures., Nomad Surfers, Atoll Travel, The Ocean Spell Surf Travel Agency, LUEX, Surf The Earth, World Surfaris, True Blue Travel, and CR Surf Travel Co.

Growth Drivers:
  • Growing Interest in Adventure Tourism
  • Health and Wellness Focus
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Seasonal Nature of Sport
  • Vulnerability to Natural Calamities

Key Developments

  • On May 2024, Surfing WA announced a new partnership with Perth Surf Park ahead of 2026 opening.
  • In March 2024, Kerala in India will host four international adventure tourism events in Vagamon, Varkala, Mananthavady, and Kozhikode, including surfing, paragliding, mountain biking, and whitewater kayaking
  • In March 2024, Samsung partnered with surfing, skateboarding, breaking leagues to celebrate and support their sporting communities on the road to Paris 2024
  • In June 2023, Panama's Santa Catalina hosted the PASA Games, which attracted 400 surfers from 19 countries
  • In 2023, Surfing Queensland launched a new women’s surf program, ‘Surf Sisters’, to break down participation barriers for women in surfing
  • *Definition: The global surfing tourism market covers the tourist activities, adventures and expeditions specifically catered towards surfing and surf culture. It includes logistical services like transportation, accommodation, surf lessons and rentals which help both amateur and professional surfers visit prime surfing destinations worldwide. The market also comprises surfing tours that take travelers to famous surf spots across various countries and immerse them in the local surfing lifestyle through networking with surf communities at each location.

Market Segmentation

  • Tour Type Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Domestic
    • International
  •  Consumer Orientation Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Men
    • Women
  •  Tourist Type Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Independent Traveler
    • Tour Group
    • Package Traveler
  •  Accommodation Type Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Hotels
    • Hostels
    • Private Rentals/Homestays
    • Others
  • 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
    • Driftwood Mentawai
    • 360° Travel - Sports Travel Agency
    • Perfect Wave
    • Wavehunters 
    • Global Surf
    • Waterways Surf Adventures.
    • Nomad Surfers
    • Atoll Travel
    • The Ocean Spell Surf Travel Agency
    • LUEX
    • Surf The Earth
    • World Surfaris
    • True Blue Travel
    • CR Surf Travel Co.

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR of the global surfing tourism market is projected to be 6.1% from 2024 to 2031.

Growing Interest in adventure tourism and health and wellness focus are the major factors driving the growth of the global surfing tourism market.

Seasonal nature of sport and vulnerability to natural calamities are the major factors hampering the growth of the global surfing tourism market.

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

Driftwood Mentawai, 360° Travel - Sports Travel Agency, Perfect Wave, ZOCOTRAVEL, Wavehunters, Global Surf, Waterways Surf Adventures., Nomad Surfers, Atoll Travel, The Ocean Spell Surf Travel Agency, LUEX, Surf The Earth, World Surfaris, True Blue Travel, and CR Surf Travel Co. are the major players.

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

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