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  • Published In : Apr 2024
  • Code : CMI6868
  • Pages :132
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Consumer Goods

Market Size and Trends

The religious tourism market is estimated to be valued at USD 1,293.71 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 2,010.41 Bn by 2031, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% from 2024 to 2031.

Religious Tourism Market Key Factors

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The religious tourism market is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period. The rising interest of people towards religious activities and pilgrimages to sacred places is driving the market. Furthermore, improving global economic conditions and rising disposable incomes are also contributing to the increased spending on religious trips. Key destinations such as Mecca, Vatican City, Jerusalem, and Varanasi are witnessing high tourist inflow every year. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic restricted global travel which negatively impacted the religious tourism industry in the short-term. But long-term outlook seems positive as international travel restrictions ease.

Religious Pilgrimages and Festivals

The concept of religious pilgrimages and festivals has been an integral part of many religions across the world since ancient times. People consider it their religious duty to visit places of worship and participate in festivals associated with their faith at regular intervals. This deepens their spiritual connection with their religion and gives them an opportunity to pray at holy sites. Some of the most prominent pilgrimages include the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca that every able-bodied Muslim aims to undertake at least once in their lifetime. Similarly, adherents of Christianity consider visiting the Holy Land which includes Bible cities like Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth as highly significant.

Other examples are religious festivals that are organized periodically at places of worship throughout the year. These festivals celebrate important events related to religious figures or commemorate significant dates. They provide an atmosphere of faith, devotion, spirituality and togetherness. The large footfall during these festivals has encouraged development of facilities for accommodation, food and other necessities in and around pilgrimage destinations and holy cities. It has made regional economies dependent on income generated from religious tourism. The increasing disposable incomes and growing middle classes in many parts of the world have contributed to rising numbers of international participants as well. This sustained demand has further spurred investments to improve infrastructure and service quality.

Market Concentration and Competitive Landscape

Religious Tourism Market Concentration By Players

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Spiritual Well-being and healing

A large proportion of religious tourists are motivated by the prospect of enhanced spiritual well-being, inner peace, and relief from stress and even healing from diseases that they associate with their pilgrimages and festivals. Being in the proximity of places revered in scriptures or the presence of religious sites is considered spiritually uplifting. It offers an opportunity to pray for wellness, give offerings or participate in rituals aimed at alleviating health issues. This psychological assurance and faith in receiving spiritual benefits is a major driver for many devotees. The growing emphasis on spiritual health and holistic healing approaches in recent years has further strengthened such beliefs. Many destinations have therefore leveraged this sentiment skillfully in their marketing by highlighting the spiritual energies of their shrines. This supernatural appeal continues to be an important pull factor.

Religious Tourism Market Key Takeaways From Lead Analyst

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Market Challenges: Strict Visa Policies and Travel Warnings

The religious tourism market faces several challenges. Strict visa policies and travel warnings inhibit travel to some religious destinations for security and safety reasons. Additionally, many religious sites see heavy footfall throughout the year which can damage artifacts and heritage sites if not managed sustainably. Over-commercialization at certain sites also detracts from the spiritual and religious experience sought by pilgrims.

 Market Opportunities: Increased airline connectivity and budget accommodations

Increased airline connectivity and budget accommodations have made travel more accessible. Many countries are promoting niche religious routes and festivals to extend tourist visits beyond pilgrimage periods. Digital platforms help travelers plan religious trips more efficiently. Some destinations are enhancing tourist infrastructure and services near religious places to boost revenue from pilgrim visits.

Religious Tourism Market By Type

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Insights, By Type: In terms of type, Catholicism contributes the highest share of the market owing to strong religious beliefs and cultural traditions

Catholicism is the largest segment in the religious tourism market based on type with 24.1% of the market share. There are over 1.3 billion Catholics worldwide who look to visit famous churches, cathedrals, shrines, and other religious sites central to their faith. The Catholic faith is deeply ingrained in the culture and traditions of many communities and societies globally. Visiting the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem or seeing St. Peter's Basilica in Rome are profoundly spiritual experiences for Catholics. Many also see Religious Tourism as a way to retrace the footsteps of important figures in Church history and immerse themselves in the rich heritage of Catholicism. The widespread prevalence of Catholicism across Europe, Latin America, the U.S., and Philippines translates to a large pool of potential travelers. Significant Catholic populations in countries like France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and the Philippines drive strong domestic religious tourism internally. Additionally, older Catholics above 50 years may have more flexibility and resources to undertake pilgrimages. The Church also actively promotes Catholic sites through publications and events to encourage religious tourism. Overall, the combination of cultural, historical, and spiritual aspects alongside a massive global reach has made Catholicism the dominant religious segment.

Insights, By Age Group: Age Group - 30-40 years contributes the highest share of the market due to greater discretionary income and flexible work schedules

Among different age groups, those aged 30-40 years account for 35.2% share of the religious tourism market. People in this demographic typically have higher disposable incomes from being established in their careers. They also have more flexible work schedules and vacation time compared to younger populations. Work commitments may be less demanding for them compared to those over 40 years of age who have greater family responsibilities. The desire for spiritual enrichment and cultural experiences also grows stronger during this phase of life. Religious tourism provides an opportunity for self-reflection and spending quality time with families. Those in their 30s and 40s can easily afford to take brief pilgrimages or longer religious tours. Destinations catering to different faiths skillfully market themselves to this high spending demographic through digital platforms and travel blogs focusing on themes like pilgrimages with kids. Their higher engagement on social media further boosts awareness of attractive religious tourism options.

Regional Insights

Religious tourism market Regional Insights

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The Middle East region has dominated the global religious tourism market for decades with 38.9% of the market share. Home to the holiest sites in Islam including Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem, Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel receive millions of pilgrims annually. The Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages to Mecca alone attract over 3 million international visitors each year. Saudi Arabia leverages its position as the custodian of these sites to promote religious tourism as a major economic driver. It has invested heavily in expanding airport and transportation infrastructure as well as accommodations near religious sites to facilitate pilgrimage. The country earns a significant portion of its GDP through service industries catering to religious visitors’ needs. Religious institutions and tourism boards in other Middle Eastern markets like Israel and Palestine also work closely with local authorities to attract religious tourists through efficient visa policies and promoting lesser-known holy sites.

A newly emerging region gaining strong momentum in religious tourism is Asia Pacific. Countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia are witnessing exponential growth driven by a surge in Buddhist pilgrims from East Asia as well as a rise in Western spiritual tourists exploring local traditions. Indonesia, home to historic pilgrimage sites on the islands of Bali and Java, has seen its religious tourism numbers doubling every few years. Local governments offer attractive visa policies and budget accommodation options to draw more regional visitors. Countries in the region have also worked on improving connectivity and developing niche spiritual tourism infrastructure at famous pagodas, temples, and ashrams. Religious institutions have unskilled local communities to better accommodate diverse foreign faiths and cultural practices. The thriving diversity and relative affordability make Southeast Asia an optimal choice for a new generation of experience seeking religious visitors.

Market Report Scope

Religious Tourism Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 1,293.71 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 To 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 To 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 6.5% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 2,010.41 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 Type: Catholicism , Islam , Buddhism , Confucianism , Hinduism , and Others
  • By Age Group: Below 20 Years , 20-30 Years , 30-40 Years , 40-50 Years , and Above 50 Years 
Companies covered:

Holy Voyages, Gil Travel Group, Heritage Tours & Travels, Best Way Tours & Safaris, Regina Tours, Travelway Europe, SpainTOP, 206 Tours Inc., Indus Travels Inc., Brightspark Travel Inc., Wendy Wu Tours, ACE Cultural Tours, Kesari Tours Pvt Ltd, Go Thailand Tours, N.S. Travel & Tours Co., Ltd, Vansol Travel & Tours, Catholic Travel Centre, Amiel Tours LTD, Israel Travel Providers, LLC, and Maranatha Tours

Growth Drivers:
  • Religious Pilgrimages and Festivals
  • Spiritual Well-being and Healing
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Strict Visa Policies and Travel Warnings
  • Terrorism and Security Threats

Key Developments

  • On April 2024, Uttarakhand launched its first-ever helicopter yatra for Adi Kailash, Om Parvat, giving a big boost to religious tourism.
  • In March 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated nine projects under the Swadesh Darshan and Prasad Yojana to boost religious tourism.
  • In November 2023, Kerala launched multi-language microsites to boost religious tourism.
  • *Definition: The religious tourism market involves travel to sacred places and religious sites for pilgrimage, missionary, or faith-based purposes. Key characteristics of this market include travel to sites significant to major world religions like Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and others. Common destinations include Jerusalem, Rome, Mecca, Varanasi, Lourdes, and sites related to important religious figures or historical events.

Market Segmentation

  • Type Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Catholicism
    • Islam
    • Buddhism
    • Confucianism
    • Hinduism
    • Others
  •  Age Group Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Below 20 Years
    • 20-30 Years
    • 30-40 Years
    • 40-50 Years
    • Above 50 Years
  • 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
    • Holy Voyages
    • Gil Travel Group
    • Heritage Tours & Travels
    • Best Way Tours & Safaris
    • Regina Tours
    • Travelway Europe
    • SpainTOP
    • 206 Tours Inc.
    • Indus Travels Inc.
    • Brightspark Travel Inc.
    • Wendy Wu Tours
    • ACE Cultural Tours
    • Kesari Tours Pvt Ltd
    • Go Thailand Tours
    • N.S. Travel & Tours Co., Ltd
    • Vansol Travel & Tours
    • Catholic Travel Centre
    • Amiel Tours LTD
    • Israel Travel Providers, LLC
    • Maranatha Tours

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR of the religious tourism market is projected to be 6.5% from 2024 to 2031.

Religious Pilgrimages and Festivals and Spiritual Well-being and Healing are the major factors driving the growth of the religious tourism market.

Strict visa policies and travel warnings and terrorism and security threats are the major factors hampering the growth of the religious tourism market.

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

Holy Voyages, Gil Travel Group, Heritage Tours & Travels, Best Way Tours & Safaris, Regina Tours, Travelway Europe, SpainTOP, 206 Tours Inc., Indus Travels Inc., Brightspark Travel Inc., Wendy Wu Tours, ACE Cultural Tours, Kesari Tours Pvt Ltd, Go Thailand Tours, N.S. Travel & Tours Co., Ltd, Vansol Travel & Tours, Catholic Travel Centre, Amiel Tours LTD, Israel Travel Providers, LLC, and Maranatha Tours are the major players.

Middle East is expected to lead the religious tourism market.

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