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Definition of Market/Industry:

Ecotourism is a safe travel practices that respect nature and does not contribute to any damage to nature and the environment. Ecotourism enable easy understanding of the history of the nations and conserves nature and also promote the environment sustainability. Moreover, it also involves the interpretation and education of beautiful cities and explores other countries. Moreover, it also enhance learning of various facts of different locations.

Market Statistics:

The ecotourism in GCC market is expected to surpass US$ 651.45 Mn in terms of value by the end of 2028

Drivers:

The rising importance of environment protection and nourishment is expected to accelerate the market growth of the ecotourism in GCC. Countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Oman are investing heavily in order to develop the ecotourism sector. Emerging various social media due to growing penetration of internets is increasing visibility of the region as ecotourism is also expected to foster the market growth of ecotourism in GCC over the forecast period. All these factors are expected to spur the market growth of the ecotourism in GCC over the forecast timeframe.

Market Opportunities

Shifting preferences of consumers towards leisure and recreational activities is expected to serve major opportunities to the market of ecotourism in GCC. Expanding airlines and travel industries due to increasing investment by government and overall economic growth is also expected to foster the market growth of ecotourism in GCC.  According to The International Air Transport Association, airline industry contributed around USD47.4 billion to the economy, accounting for 13.3% of the UAE's GDP in 2019. The UAE's aviation market will grow 170% by 2037, and contribute USD128 billion in GDP to the nation's economy.

Global ecotourism in GCC Market: Recent Developments

  • Saudi Arabia launched a new ecotourism project “The Green Riyadh Project”. The Green Riyadh Project aims to increase the city's per-capita share of green space from 1.7 square metres to 28, improve air quality, reduce temperatures and encourage healthy lifestyle .
  • In November 2019, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) is launching various projects that aims to promote the potential of ecotourism in conservation of natural and cultural heritage in UAE.
  • In July 2018, The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) UAE, has unveiled its National Ecotourism Project.  That aims to shine a light on the country’s ‘natural wonders’, and capitalise on the growing trend for global ecotourism.

Market Restraints

Low awareness regarding the ecotourism in GCC region is expected to be a major factor hampering the market growth. Moreover, ecotourism is expensive as compared to mass tourism which is further expected to augment the market growth of ecotourism in GCC.

GCC Ecotourism Market - Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic

The travel and tourism industry is one of the most affected sectors that has faced major loss with a massive fall in travelers during the recent outbreak of a pandemic. Ecotourism in GCC market has witnessed negative growth during the Covid-19 pandemic due to the introduction of travel restriction laws such as lockdown and quarantine. However, experts expect a recovery of international tourism in 2021

Key Takeaways:

  • The ecotourism in GCC market was valued at US$ 502.43 Mn in 2020 and is forecast to reach a value of US$ 651.45 Mn by 2028 at a CAGR of 3.3% between 2021 and 2028.
  • The Wildlife in category segment was valued US$ 150.73 Mn in 2020 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 3.80% over the forecast period. The growing focus of the travellers to indulge in adventurous outdoor activities are again expected to foster the market growth of the ecotourism in GCC.

Figure 1. Global Ecotourism in GCC Market Share, By Category, 2020

Market Trends

Growing awareness regarding the benefits of travel among consumers is shifting their focus towards exploring adventurous places. This is expected to be a key trend in the market. Increasing focus of the government on ecologically sustainable tourism and enhancing the quality of the life of local’s inhabitants is also expected to spur the market growth. Moreover, the growing trend towards visiting wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks in the region is further attracting tourists, thereby fueling market growth.

The government of the GCC region in undertaking various projects for conserving nature and raising awareness regarding the importance of responsible tourism development is a growing trend. For instance, the president of UAE during the launching of UAE Vision 2021 clearly emphasized in protecting natural environment from excessive tourism activities encouraging the growth of more eco-tourism destinations in UAE. UAE is focusing on developing various natural sites and tourist hotels across historical areas in order to enhance the traveler's experiences so that they can enjoy natural areas such as oasis, natural hot springs, and natural reserves. Additionally, the growing focus of traveler in exploring unexplored places due to a busy lifestyle is again expected to propel the market growth of ecotourism in GCC over the forecast period.

Competitive Section:

Company Names 

Hotels

  • Ramada Worldwide
  • Jumeirah
  • Le Meridien

Airlines

  • Emirates
  • Qatar
  • Gulf air

Tour and Travel Operators

  • Thomas Cook
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