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Cultural Tourism Market Outlook (2023 to 2033)

The global cultural tourism revenue is set to total US$ 5,931.2 million by 2023. Global cultural tourism demand is likely to surge at 14.4% CAGR over the next ten years. At the end of 2033, the worldwide cultural tourism market size is set to reach around US$ 22,772.0 million in 2033.

Key Factors Impacting the Cultural Tourism Industry Dynamics

  • Rising interest in exploring and learning different cultures and cultural heritages to boost the market.
  • Government initiatives towards sustainable cultural development bringing rise to revenue
  • Growing affordability due to increasing disposable income will elevate demand
  • Increasing usage of social media platforms by cultural tour providers to expand their reach will spur growth
  • Introduction of new cultural tour packages by key companies will facilitate market expansion
  • Adoption of cultural tours by students for educational purposes to fuel sales through 2033
  • Rising popularity of online booking will expand market size

Cultural tourism refers to tourism in which the visitor’s primary motive is to discover, learn, and experience tangible and intangible cultural attractions. Under this category of tourism, people visit other countries to learn about their cultures and language. It allows tourists to participate in local cultural activities such as festivals and rituals.

Cultural tourism holds tourist activities to learn, discover, experience, and encounter various attractions of a tourist destination. These attractions are related to the various heritages in terms of art, music, literature, cultural heritage, and so on.

This type of tourism not only beholds the infrastructure but also represents something called lifestyle, preferences and interests, value systems, various traditions, and belief systems.

People these days are becoming enthusiastic and there is a grown interest in them to try and explore unique destinations. This is due to significant rise in travel and tourism post-Covid-19. Driven by this, demand for cultural tourism is likely to rise at a robust pace through 2033.

Rising government initiatives to promote culture in tourism sector will create lucrative growth opportunities for cultural tour providers. Besides this, growing awareness about cultural tourism through social media platforms will boost sales.

Usage of advanced technologies in cultural tourism sector such as virtual reality is likely to support market expansion.

Attribute Key Insights
Cultural Tourism Market Estimated Value (2023E) US$ 5,931.2 million
Projected Market Valuation (2033F) US$ 22,772.0 million
Value-based CAGR (2023 to 2033) 14.4%
Collective Value Share: Top 5 Countries (2022A) ~35% to 40%

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2018 to 2022 Global Cultural Tourism Sales Outlook Compared to Demand Forecast from 2023 to 2033

As per FMI, the global cultural tourism industry witnessed a CAGR of -3.9% CAGR from 2018 to 2022. Over the next ten years, cultural tourism demand is set to rise at 14.4% CAGR.

Growing travelers’ interest in cultural travel is a prominent factor driving the global market forward.

Cultural tourism lets tourists experience culture of the visited place. It also adds to employment graphs globally and it is responsible for job creation, primarily for the youth crowd.

As per the recent data by WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council), the entire tourism sector globally creates nearly 300 to 350 million jobs and the cultural tourism market constitutes nearly 40% of the world tourism revenue.

There is no doubt that Covid-19 badly affected the cultural tourism industry as travel across the world was restricted. However, post-pandemic, the government is taking various initiatives to repair all the damage, which happened in the cultural tourism sector.

For instance, a Common Country Assessment had been carried out for around 12 to 14 countries, for joint interagency programs in the Pacific. Also in Europe, initiatives were taken by UNESCO to visit centers by building workshops, promoting cultural tourism sustainability, and educating the people on the knowledge of deep cultural heritage.

While there have been fluctuations in the cultural tourism sector, cultural destinations are under significant development and it is going to grow right from promoting rural tourism, to revitalizing local tourism, or domestic tourism. This will boost cultural tourism sales over the next ten years.

Comparative View of Adjacent Markets

Cultural Tourism Market:

Attribute Cultural Tourism Market
CAGR (2023 to 2033) 14.4 %
Market Value (2023) US$ 5,931.2 million
Growth Factor Growing interest in exploring different cultures is driving the market forward.
Key Trend Availability of personalized packaged offers for cultural visits with guided tours to boost revenues.

Rural Tourism Market:

Attribute Rural Tourism Market
CAGR (2023 to 2033) 6.8 %
Market Value (2023) US$ 102.7 billion
Growth Factor Adverse impact of urbanization and industrialization boosting the rural development market
Key Trend Increasing government initiatives and investments in boosting rural tourism will create growth prospects.

Space Tourism Market:

Attribute Space Tourism Market
CAGR (2023 to 2033) 38.6 %
Market Value (2023E) US$ 678.3 million
Growth Factor Advancements in space transportation spurring growth in the global space tourism market.
Key Trend Reduction in space tour packages to elevate demand through 2033.
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Key Dynamics in the Cultural Tourism Industry Worldwide

  • Eco-cultural Tourism Preserving Infrastructural and Environmental Sensitive Regions

Regardless of age group or cultural preferences, humans always find nature relaxing and restorative. As per the analysis, nearly 90% to 95% of the people accepted that traveling and relaxing in nature, changed their mood to be more calm and balanced. Nature provides us with physiological comfort and reduces stress and anxiety.

Eco-cultural tourism serves as a concept here in which the ecological and cultural aspects are combined in a way that creates a site for tourists. Eco-tourism is proposed as a way in which marginal, cultural, and ecological resources are on the verge of development.

For instance, there is a small village located in the western district of Sikkim called Darap. It faced a lot of challenges and problems mostly with poverty and the livelihood of natives. But the reformation and development of village tourism changed the local economy of the village. With the advancement and increase in facilities, it became a spot to attract several tourists as an eco-cultural site.

  • Over-tourism as a Perceived Threat to Cultural Heritage Sites, Becoming a Key Concern

There are several cultural and historic sites, across the world, popular among tourists. It is no doubt that these sites are high in demand which is resulting in an overflow of people visiting at a critical level.

If we see the coastal areas, there is a huge surge in the demand for cruise tourism which is increasing the number of people while only a certain number of people could be on the cruise at a time. Hence, it is increasing the risks for tourists.

Not only that, but some countries are also prone to the risk of conflicts and terrorist attacks, which makes the tourists shift to a world heritage site. Machu Picchu for instance is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, but there has been a situation of tourist overcrowding for decades now. There has been a significant rise in the tourist count which was nearly 380,000 a year, which shifted to nearly 1.2 to 1.4 million in just 20 years.

Country-wise Insights

How is Thailand Turning Opportunities to Enhance Cultural Tourism?

Focus on Creating Unique Cultural Experiences and Bond Between Guests and Hosts Boosting Thailand Market

Thailand is adding value and importance to tourism activities with enhanced creativity in tourism services. Thai tourism development strategy emphasizes on the development of creativity and it promotes innovation and adds value to tourism creativity.

Thailand also focuses on technological advancements and design strategies which drive tourism economy with culture and technology. In terms of cultural tourism, Thailand provides tourism with the ultimate Thai culture, its rich history, and its traditional norms. These norms focus on creating value and accessing the local communities.

Creative tourism serves as a new form of culture-based tourism where the emphasis is on interaction with the visitors for various tourism experiences. For instance, in Canavan village, Thailand, it was observed that the hosts and the guests there created a unique culture. This worked as a middle ground for the interaction and exchange between the hosts and guests on various activities such as music, dance, handicraft, and other traditional customs.

Rising government support is likely to boost Thailand’s cultural tourism sector through 2033. Various initiatives are being launched by authorities to boost tourism industry. For instance, in July 2022, to drive Thailand towards experience-based and sustainable tourism, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) launched ‘Marketing Plan 2023’.

How is Greece Promoting the Development of Cultural Tourism in the Country?

“Implementation of Development Programme Promoting Cultural Tourism Business in Greece”

Greece is one of the countries which is equipped with breathtaking natural sites. In order to maintain it, government is ensuring the required coordination under an approach of whole-of-government. It is promoting policies and direct coordination between government bodies and Ministries.

Greece cultural tourism not only focuses on promoting the culture and traditions of the place. But it also implements the cross ministerial network, which includes coordination meetings, exchange of information, and development and implementation of tourism activity in Greece.

The government’s goal is to plan and implement development programs and policies for job creation, creativity, and innovation. It is also focusing on local business promotion and entrepreneurship sustainably

The General Directorate for Contemporary Culture of Greece Ministry of Culture and sports is thus reinforcing policies for cultural and creative sector to promote diversity in the country towards tourism and enhance overall tourism experience.

Will Government Initiatives in Italy Continue to Elevate Cultural Tourism Demand?

Government Initiatives Towards Sustainable Cultural Tourism Development to Elevate Demand in Italy

Cultural tourism in Italy represents a very important sector that is encountering a strong expansion. This is linked with the growth of tourism, art, and creativity which is observed in travel and holidays.

Cultural motivation in Italy serves as a main driver of international demand with rich historical and artistic heritage. In fact, cultural tourism serves as a very important part of Italian tourism. With its immense cultural wealth, there are multiple initiatives taken by the government to preserve it for future generations.

For instance, in Italy, the Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) has allotted EUR 7 billion to the cultural tourism sector as a whole. The initiative to combine contemporary cultural heritage with today’s business, while turning antique facilities into more functional cultural parks, creatively, or any movie or television venue is gaining popularity.

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Category-wise Insights

Which Tourism Type Will Contribute Most to the Cultural Tourism Industry?

Edutainment Tourism to Generate Lucrative Growth Prospects for the Market

As per FMI, edutainment tourism sector will create lucrative revenues in the market through 2033. This is due to rising interest in edutainment heritage tourist attractions (EHTAs). Besides this, increase in edutainment-based travelers with deep cultural interests will boost growth.

There is a surge in the number of people who have a growing urge to travel to places which spikes their interest. What grows curiosity in them, what brings the most interest in them, or what aligns with their hobbies and passion, are mostly preferred for cultural destination visits.

There is also a huge demand for places for slightly offbeat and unexplored destinations such as wildlife tours and cultural heritage travel. It is observed that nearly 50% to 55% of the trips taken were Edutainment-based cultural travelers.

Which Age Group is Opting for Cultural Tourism?

Age Group Between 16 to 25 Prefers Cultural Tours and Visits More

The 16 to 25 age group will continue to dominate the global cultural tourism industry through 2033. This is due to rising interest of this age group towards cultural tourism.

As per FMI, young people, especially students, are likely to opt for cultural tours and travel. This is because they are inclined towards exploring and learning about different cultures.

This is the age when travelers are most curious and on the verge of becoming aware of the culture and tradition in a span of domestic and overseas areas. Generally, these travelers are well equipped and are from very equipped families. So financial concerns are negligible to them when it comes to exploration and knowledge seeking.

Which is the Most Preferred Booking Channel by Tourists?

Tourists Prefer Online Booking Channels

Based on booking channel, online booking segment will generate lucrative revenues for the market. This is due to rapid rising inclinations towards booking cultural tours through online sites.

Millennials are aligning their goals of travel with the latest trends. There has to be a lot of planning involved in executing the travel trip to cultural sites. Right from getting awareness about the culture and tradition followed by that particular place, to booking, food, accommodation, and other requirements in between, online platforms are a perfect choice for tourists.

Nowadays, it has become very convenient for people to book online with a lot of customized and personalized options and booking can be done with ease. New steps are also being taken to encourage adoption of online booking platforms.

For instance, to make online booking process smoother, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) signed an MoU with Bookmyshow and Yatra. People now can easily book their tours online for historical sites such as Qutub Minar, Taj Mahal, and more. This move is aimed at supporting government’s ‘Digital India’ initiatives.

Competitive Landscape

Tour operators generally have more edge over cultural tourism and they do understand the market requirement. Hence, they are inclined towards providing very personalized and customized services.

They are bringing new ways into creating an enriching experience for tourism. Further, they are coming up with new innovative ways towards enriching experiences collated for the visitors. For instance:

The TOI developed a practical guide as a joint force with Conservation International, as a part of managing social issues. More than 3000 copies of those guides have been disseminated by the members of TOI to the hotels across.

New tour packages are also being launched by key cultural tourism companies to increase their sales. For instance, in 2022, a new heritage tour package to Ghana was launched by EF Go Ahead Tours.

Scope of the Report

Attribute Details
Estimated Market Size (2023) US$ 5,931.2 million
Projected Market Size (2033) US$ 22,772.0 million
Anticipated Growth Rate (2023 to 2033) 14.4% CAGR
Forecast Period 2023 to 2033
Historical Data Available for 2018 to 2022
Market Analysis US$ Million/Billion for Value
Key Countries Covered
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • India
  • China
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Australia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • KSA
  • Italy
  • Qatar
  • Oman
  • Rest of the World
Key Segments Covered
  • Direct Suppliers
  • Indirect Suppliers
  • Number of Bookings
    • Age
    • Demographic
    • Nationality
    • Booking Channel
    • Tour Type
    • Tourism Type
    • Visitors Type
Key Companies Profiled
  • Intrepid
  • Explore
  • Exodus Travel
  • G Adventures
  • On The Go Tours
  • Others
Report Coverage Market Forecast, Company Share Analysis, Competition Intelligence, DROT Analysis, Market Dynamics and Challenges, and Strategic Growth Initiatives

Global Cultural Tourism Market by Category

By Direct Suppliers:

  • Airlines
  • Hotel Companies
  • Car Rental
  • Train
  • Tour Operators
  • Government Bodies

By Indirect Suppliers:

  • OTA (Online Travel Agency)
  • Traditional Travel Agencies
  • TMC's (Travel Management Companies)
  • Corporate Buyers
  • Aggregators

By Number of Bookings:

By Age:

  • Under 15
  • 16 to 25
  • 26 to 35
  • 36 to 45
  • 46 to 55
  • Over 55

By Demographic:

  • Male
  • Female

By Nationality:

  • Domestic
  • International

By Booking Channel:

  • Phone Booking
  • Online Booking
  • In Person Booking

By Tour Type:

  • Individual Travel
  • Professional Groups
  • Group Travels

By Tourism Type:

  • Edutainment Tourism
  • Cultural heritage Tourism
  • Educational Tourism
  • Marine Life Exploration Tourism
  • Eco-conscious Cultural tourism
  • Others

By Visitors Type:

  • Purposeful
  • Incidental
  • Serendipitous
  • Casual
  • Sightseeing

By Country:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • India
  • China
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Australia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • KSA
  • Italy
  • Qatar
  • Oman
  • Rest of the World

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Current CAGR of the Smart Home Appliance Market?

The current CAGR of the global market is 14.4%.

How Thailand Tourism is Expanding?

The Unique culture experiences enhance Thailand tourism market.

Which is the Preferred Tourism Type in the Global Market?

Edutainment tourism segment contributes a maximum share in the market.

Which Booking Channel Segment is Securing Maximum Revenue?

Online booking segment holds a maximum revenue of the global market.

How the Global Market Developed in the Past?

From 2018 to 2022, the global market exhibited -3.9% CAGR.

Table of Content

1. Executive Summary | Cultural Tourism Market

    1.1. Global Cultural Tourism Market Outlook

        1.1.1. Who Is Travelling?

        1.1.2. Travel Gross Bookings

        1.1.3. Travel Gross Revenue

        1.1.4. How Much Do They Spend?

    1.2. Cultural Tourism Evolution Analysis

    1.3. FMI Analysis and Recommendations

2. Growth Parameters in Cultural Tourism

    2.1. Eco-cultural Tourism Preserving Infrastructural and Environmental Sensitive Regions

    2.2. Experiential Tourism Opportunities and Interactive Cultural Experiences on the rise

    2.3. Government initiatives towards Sustainable Cultural Development bringing rise to revenue

    2.4. Creating Unique Cultural Experience and bond between the guests and the hosts, is enhancing Cultural Tourism

3. Supply to Demand: Todays Travel Distribution Network

    3.1. Direct v/s Indirect Distribution

    3.2. Travel Gross Revenues, by Channel, 2023

        3.2.1. Supplier Direct

        3.2.2. TMC

        3.2.3. Tour Operator

        3.2.4. OTA

4. Direct Suppliers in Cultural Tourism

    4.1. Total Supplier Market, Share by Segment (%), 2023

        4.1.1. Airlines

        4.1.2. Hotel Companies

        4.1.3. Car Rental

        4.1.4. Train

        4.1.5. Tour Operators

        4.1.6. Government Bodies(*Note – Excluding Tour Operator)

5. Indirect Suppliers in Cultural Tourism

    5.1. OTA (Online Travel Agency)

    5.2. Traditional Travel Agencies

    5.3. TMC's (Travel Management Companies)

    5.4. Corporate Buyers

    5.5. Aggregators

6. Cultural Tourism Number of Bookings, 2023

    6.1. By Age

        6.1.1. Under 15

        6.1.2. 16 to 25

        6.1.3. 26 to 35

        6.1.4. 36 to 45

        6.1.5. 46 to 55

        6.1.6. Over 55

    6.2. By Tourism Type

        6.2.1. Edutainment Tourism

        6.2.2. Cultural Heritage Tourism

        6.2.3. Educational Tourism

        6.2.4. Marine Life Exploration Tourism

        6.2.5. Eco-Conscious Cultural Tourism

    6.3. By Demographic

        6.3.1. Male

        6.3.2. Female

        6.3.3. Kids

    6.4. By Nationality

        6.4.1. Domestic

        6.4.2. International

    6.5. By Booking Channel

        6.5.1. Phone Booking

        6.5.2. Online Booking

        6.5.3. In-Person Booking

    6.6. By Tour Type

        6.6.1. Individual

        6.6.2. Professional groups

        6.6.3. Group travel

    6.7. By Visitors Type

        6.7.1. Purposeful

        6.7.2. Incidental

        6.7.3. Serendipitous

        6.7.4. Casual

        6.7.5. Sightseeing

7. Country Shift, Key Countries in Focus, 2023

    7.1. USA

        7.1.1. By Age

        7.1.2. By Tourism type

        7.1.3. By Demography

        7.1.4. By Nationality

        7.1.5. By Booking Channel

        7.1.6. By Tour type

        7.1.7. By Visitors type

    7.2. Canada

        7.2.1. By Age

        7.2.2. By Tourism Type

        7.2.3. By Demography

        7.2.4. By Nationality

        7.2.5. By Booking Channel

        7.2.6. By Tour Type

        7.2.7. By Visitors Type

    7.3. Europe

        7.3.1. By Age

        7.3.2. By Tourism Type

        7.3.3. By Demography

        7.3.4. By Nationality

        7.3.5. By Booking Channel

        7.3.6. By Tour Type

        7.3.7. By Visitors Type

    7.4. Mexico

        7.4.1. By Age

        7.4.2. By Tourism Type

        7.4.3. By Demography

        7.4.4. By Nationality

        7.4.5. By Booking Channel

        7.4.6. By Tour Type

        7.4.7. By Visitors Type

    7.5. Germany

        7.5.1. By Age

        7.5.2. By Tourism Type

        7.5.3. By Demography

        7.5.4. By Nationality

        7.5.5. By Booking Channel

        7.5.6. By Tour Type

        7.5.7. By Visitors Type

    7.6. India

        7.6.1. By Age

        7.6.2. By Tourism Type

        7.6.3. By Demography

        7.6.4. By Nationality

        7.6.5. By Booking channel

        7.6.6. By Tour Type

        7.6.7. By Visitors Type

    7.7. Rest of the World

        7.7.1. By Age

        7.7.2. By Tourism Type

        7.7.3. By Demography

        7.7.4. By Nationality

        7.7.5. By Booking Channel

        7.7.6. By Tour Type

        7.7.7. By Visitors type

8. Cultural Tourism Gross Revenue

    8.1. Cultural tourism Gross Revenue (US$ Million) and Forecast (2023 to 2033)

    8.2. Number of Bookings (mm) and Forecast (2023 to 2033)

    8.3. Total Spending Y-o-Y Growth Projections (2023 to 2033)

    8.4. Number of Tourists Y-o-Y Growth Projections

9. Challenges & Looking Forward

    9.1. Success Stories: Case Studies

    9.2. FMI Recommendations

10. Market Stakeholders Landscape – Key Direct Suppliers

    10.1. Airlines

        10.1.1. Top Players

        10.1.2. Market Concentration

        10.1.3. Market Share

    10.2. Hotel Companies

        10.2.1. Top Players

        10.2.2. Market Concentration

        10.2.3. Market Share

    10.3. Car Rental

        10.3.1. Top Players

        10.3.2. Market Concentration

        10.3.3. Market Share

    10.4. Trains

        10.4.1. Top Players

        10.4.2. Market Concentration

        10.4.3. Market Share

    10.5. Tour Operators

        10.5.1. Top Players

        10.5.2. Market Concentration

        10.5.3. Market Share

    10.6. Government Bodies

        10.6.1. Top Players

        10.6.2. Market Concentration

        10.6.3. Market Share

11. Social Media Sentimental Analysis

    11.1. Travel Influencers: A new Phenomenon in the world of Tourism

    11.2. Social Media Platforms Preferred

    11.3. Trending #Hashtags

    11.4. Social Media Platform Mentions (% of Total Mentions)

    11.5. Trending Subject Titles

12. Assumptions and Acronyms Used

13. Research Methodology

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List of Tables

Table 01: Capital Investment in Cultural Tourism by Country (US$ Million)

Table 02: Total Tourist Arrivals (Million), 2023

Table 03: Total Spending (US$ Million) and Forecast (2018 to 2033)

Table 04: Number of Tourists (Million) and Forecast (2018 to 2033)

Table 05: Spending per Traveler (US$ Million) and Forecast (2018 to 2033)
Ronak Shah
Ronak Shah

Principal Consultant

Talk to Analyst

Find your sweet spots for generating winning opportunities in this market.

List of Charts

Figure 01: Total Spending (US$ Million) and Forecast (2023 to 2033)

Figure 02: Total Spending Y-o-Y Growth Projections (2018 to 2033)

Figure 03: Number of Tourists (Million) and Forecast (2023 to 2033)

Figure 04: Number of Tourists Y-o-Y Growth Projections (2018 to 2033)

Figure 05: Spending per Traveler (US$ Million) and Forecast (2023 to 2033)

Figure 06: Spending per Traveler Y-o-Y Growth Projections (2018 to 2033)

Figure 07: Current Market Analysis (% of demand), By Age Group, 2023

Figure 08: Current Market Analysis (% of demand), By Demographics, 2023

Figure 09: Current Market Analysis (% of demand), By Nationality, 2023

Figure 10: Current Market Analysis (% of demand), By Tour Type, 2023

Figure 11: Current Market Analysis (% of demand), By Tourism Type, 2023

Figure 12: Current Market Analysis (% of demand), By Booking Channel, 2023

Figure 13: Current Market Analysis (% of demand), By Visitors Type, 2023


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