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Sri Lanka Hiking & Trekking Tourism Industry Outlook from 2024 to 2034

Demand for hiking & trekking tourism in Sri Lanka is estimated to grow at 7.2% CAGR during the assessment period. In 2023, Sri Lanka's hiking & trekking tourism revenue totaled US$ 779.4 million. Total valuation in the country is set to reach US$ 834.7 million in 2024 and US$ 1,673.0 million by 2034.

Attributes Key Insights
Base Value (2023) US$ 779.4 million
Estimated Sri Lanka Hiking & Trekking Tourism Business Size (2024) US$ 834.7 million
Projected Sri Lanka Hiking & Trekking Tourism Revenue (2034) US$ 1,673.0 million
Value-based CAGR (2024 to 2034) 7.2%

Tourism has become a crucial sector of Sri Lanka's economy, substantially contributing to GDP, employment, and foreign exchange earnings. In 2019, tourism constituted more than 5% of the GDP, employing over 300,000 individuals in Sri Lanka.

The hiking and trekking tourism sector is a burgeoning and specialized business within Sri Lanka's broader tourism industry. This growth is attributed to the diverse and exquisite natural landscape of Sri Lanka, encompassing mountains, rainforests, and beaches.

Hiking and trekking tours present visitors with a chance to intimately experience the natural beauty of Sri Lanka while gaining insights into the country's rich culture and heritage. Growing interest in exploring the rich bounties of nature in Sri Lanka is expected to drive demand for hiking & trekking tour packages.

Sri Lanka's abundant biodiversity is well known worldwide. Through hiking in national parks and protected regions, travelers might encounter several flora and wildlife, such as unusual plants, animals, and birds.

Trekking in Sri Lanka is a total experience of friendly hospitality. Local groups are frequently involved in offering lodging and tour assistance to travelers and visitors. The government of Sri Lanka is building infrastructure and encouraging ethical tourist practices after realizing the potential of hiking and trekking.

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Historical Performance vs Sri Lanka Hiking & Trekking Tourism Industry Outlook

Sri Lanka's hiking & trekking tourism business grew at a CAGR of -4.9% from 2019 to 2023. The COVID-19 outbreak significantly impacted the tourism industry for hiking and trekking in Sri Lanka. Over the forecast period, hiking & trekking demand in Sri Lanka is set to rise at 7.2% CAGR.

Historical CAGR (2019 to 2023) -4.9%
Forecast CAGR (2024 to 2034) 7.2%

The hiking and trekking sector in Sri Lanka suffered greatly due to the drastic reduction in visitor arrivals brought about by the worldwide travel restrictions and lockdown. The epidemic also affected the hiking and trekking industry's supply chain. Because there were not enough visitors, tour companies and lodging providers were forced to close, leaving some local communities without revenue.

The hiking and trekking tourism sector in Sri Lanka is recovering despite these obstacles. The number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka is steadily rising as the travel restrictions are removed. Further, as Sri Lankans rediscover the natural beauty of their land, there is an increasing demand for hiking and trekking vacations within the country.

Key Dynamics of Hiking & Trekking Tourism Business in Sri Lanka

  • Shift to Sustainability Creating Growth Prospects

Sustainability is evolving from being a 'standard' to becoming a criterion for selection. In the case of locations or sites that fully incorporate all aspects of sustainability, it may even constitute a compelling argument for travel.

Several tourists are becoming increasingly conscious of the need for sustainability as they gain travel experience and read more and more news articles on the detrimental effects of tourism. As a result, visitors are changing the way they make travel-related decisions and travel on-site.

Travelers are choosing locations based on their commitment to sustainability. They are ready to make reasonable changes to their spending habits and are willing to actively contribute to these beliefs. Therefore, putting an emphasis on sustainability presents commercial potential.

When properly executed, tourism can add value to the preservation of ecosystems and the sustainability of sociocultural practices. Hence, shift toward sustainability can present new growth prospects for the target business.

  • Growing Demand for Meaningful Experiences to Drive Demand

Visitors are looking for experiences that make a lasting impression, enhance their quality of life, or advance larger (SDG) objectives. Their search for quality experiences, distinctiveness, authenticity, local culture, and cuisine is fueled by their need for luxury, convenience, beautiful architecture, and exceptional hospitality. Stakeholders are challenged by this trend to consistently improve the (spatial) quality and experience value of regional tourist destinations.

  • Increasing Variation in Travel Motivation Fostering Growth

Nature-based tourism is one form of tourism or exercise that travelers may seek as a component of or a place to stay during a longer, more varied trip. For instance, they combine a city visit with a getaway to a more natural, rural setting.

The implications for SMEs are to broaden the range of reasons why people travel, to adapt to the changing identities of travelers, and to draw in more significant audiences. This will support expansion of the target business in Sri Lanka.

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Restraining Factors of Hiking and Trekking Tourism in Sri Lanka

  • Overtourism may negatively influence local ecosystems and cause habitat degradation in environmentally vulnerable places.
  • Although Sri Lanka has made great strides toward stability and security, there may still be security and safety issues, particularly in certain areas. This may affect travelers' inclination to investigate hiking routes in particular regions.
  • Sri Lanka's hiking and trekking opportunities may not be more well-known internationally. There needs to be more marketing and promotional activities to prevent the location from being eclipsed by other, more well-advertised trekking places.
  • Other nations with a strong presence in the hiking and adventure tourism industries compete with Sri Lanka. Marketing campaigns must present Sri Lanka as a unique and alluring travel destination amid international rivals.

Comparative View of Adjacent Sri Lanka Hiking & Trekking Tourism Business

The Sri Lanka hiking & trekking tourism business is set to be impacted by the peer or tangential businesses in the travel and tourism industry. These include the adventure tourism sector and the Nepal eco trekking business.

As per estimations, the adventure tourism business would lead out of the three businesses. Demand for hiking and trekking tourism in Sri Lanka is set to surge at a CAGR of 7.2% through 2034. On the other hand, adventure tourism and Nepal eco trekking businesses are expected to rise at CAGRs of 16.2% and 4.8%, respectively, through 2034.

Sri Lanka Hiking and Trekking Tourism Demand Outlook:

Attribute Sri Lanka Hiking & Trekking Tourism Demand Outlook
CAGR (2024 to 2034) 7.2%
Growth Factor Growing demand for meaningful experiences is expected to boost growth of the hiking & trekking business in Sri Lanka.
Restraining Factor Accessibility issues to certain isolated sites can cause problems for travelers and tour providers alike.
Key Trend Shift to sustainability and increasing government initiatives to promote hiking and trekking are key trends shaping growth.

Adventure Tourism Industry Analysis:

Attribute Adventure Tourism Industry Analysis
CAGR (2024 to 2034) 16.2%
Growth Factor Rising interest in adventure tourism globally and digitalization of vacation planning will likely boost sales growth.
Restraining Factor Low awareness about the benefits of adventure tourism is limiting business expansion.
Key Trend Aggressive advertising by travel & tourism companies is set to uplift demand for adventure tourism globally.

Nepal Eco Trekking Sales Forecast:

Attribute Nepal Eco Trekking Sales Forecast
CAGR (2024 to 2034) 4.8%
Growth Factor Rising travel and tourism activities and favorable government support are expected to boost Nepal's eco-trekking business growth.
Restraining Factor Lack of awareness of eco-trekking is limiting growth of the target business.
Key Trend Rising usage of social media will likely benefit the Nepal eco-trekking business through 2034.

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Category-wise Insights

The below section shows the 26 to 35 years segment dominating the Sri Lanka hiking and trekking business in terms of age group. It is forecast to thrive at 6.5% CAGR between 2023 and 2033.

Based on travel group, the solo segment is anticipated to hold a dominant share through 2033. It is poised to exhibit a CAGR of 8.4% during the forecast period. By tour type, the tour guide segment is expected to grow at 6.9% CAGR.

Hiking & Trekking Tourism Remains Popular among 26 to 35 Years Age Group

Age Group 26 to 35 Years
Value CAGR 6.5%

Participating in hiking and trekking remains a favored pastime, particularly among individuals aged 26 to 35. The popularity of these activities can be ascribed to several factors. Firstly, individuals within this age bracket typically seek avenues to sustain an active and health-conscious lifestyle.

Hiking and trekking are practical workout activities that foster cardiovascular health, strength, and balance. These physical endeavors also contribute to the alleviation of stress and anxiety.

Individuals in the 26 to 35 age range often possess a higher disposable income than their younger counterparts. This financial capability enables them to invest in top-tier equipment and explore novel hiking and trekking destinations, enhancing the overall enjoyment of their outdoor adventures.

As per the latest analysis, the 26 to 35 years segment will likely retain its dominance in Sri Lanka hiking & trekking tourism business. It is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% from 2024 to 2034.

Solo Travelers are Anticipated to Gain Traction in Sri Lanka Tourism Sector

Group Composition Solo
Value CAGR 8.4%

Trekking and hiking offer an ideal environment for contemplation and self-examination. Individuals can ponder their life objectives, connect with their inner selves, and gain insights into their capabilities amid the tranquility of the trail. This journey of self-discovery may lead to self-improvement, enhanced independence, and increased self-confidence.

Nevertheless, embarking on solo travel grants complete command over one's itinerary, pace, and decisions. Those engaged in trekking and hiking can set their schedules, move at their preferred pace, and adjust plans as needed.

With this adaptability, they can fully relish the trekking experience without compromising or accommodating the preferences of others. As a result, the solo travelers segment is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 8.4% during the projection period.

Tour Guide Segment to Generate Significant Revenue through 2034

Tour Type Tour Guide
Value CAGR 6.9%

Most hiking and trekking excursions are typically arranged through local guides for various reasons. Local guides possess extensive knowledge about the regions and trails, enriching the hiking experience with valuable insights. They manage the logistical aspects, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable journey for participants.

Local guides also play a crucial role in bridging cultural gaps and facilitating interactions with local communities, fostering a deeper understanding of the destination. They undergo training to assess risks, implement safety protocols, and effectively respond to emergencies, prioritizing the safety and well-being of the group.

Opting for tours arranged by local guides also directly contributes to the economic prosperity of local communities. Selecting a local guide guarantees a secure, enlightening, and authentic hiking experience.

It is estimated that the tour guide segment will grow at a CAGR of 6.9% during the forecast years. The target segment is expected to generate significant revenue throughout the forecast period.

Competitive Landscape

The competitive landscape of the Sri Lanka hiking and trekking tourism business is characterized by a growing number of tour operators, both domestic and international. Top companies are offering a variety of hiking and trekking packages to suit all interests and budgets.

The sector is also becoming increasingly crowded, with new operators constantly entering the business. This is making it increasingly difficult for tour operators to stand out from the crowd and attract customers. To address this, key companies are utilizing online platforms as well as adopting celebrity endorsement strategies.

Recent developments in the Sri Lanka Hiking & Trekking Tourism Business

  • In 2023, Lanka Travel launched a new hiking and trekking package to the Knuckles Mountain Range. The package includes a five-day trek through the mountains, with accommodation in eco-friendly guesthouses.
  • In 2023, Walkers Tours partnered with the Sri Lankan government to develop a new hiking and trekking trail in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve. The course is expected to be open to tourists in early 2024.

Scope of Report

Attribute Details
Estimated Business Value (2023) US$ 834.7 million
Projected Business Value (2033) US$ 1,673.0 million
Anticipated Growth Rate (2023 to 2033) 7.2%
Forecast Period 2024 to 2034
Historical Data Available for 2019 to 2023
Industry Analysis US$ million/billion for Value
Key Segments Covered
  • Demographic
  • Group Composition
  • Tour Type
  • Interest
  • Age Group
  • Duration
  • Spending
Key Companies Profiled
  • Lanka Travel
  • Walkers Tours
  • Nature Trails Sri Lanka
  • Ceylon Hiking Club
  • Adventures Unlimited
  • Eco Trails Lanka
  • Mountain Adventures Lanka
  • Travel Mate Sri Lanka
  • Sri Lanka Travel Agency
  • Lanka Safari Tours
  • Leopard Safaris Sri Lanka
  • Rainforest Tours Sri Lanka
  • Lanka Hiking Tours
  • Backpack Lanka Tours
  • Trekking Lanka Tours
Report Coverage Demand Forecast, Company Share Analysis, Competition Intelligence, DROT Analysis, Dynamics and Challenges, and Strategic Growth Initiatives

Sri Lanka Hiking and Trekking Tourism Business by Category

By Demographic:

  • Male
  • Female
  • Kids

By Group Composition:

  • Family
  • Couple
  • Solo
  • Group

By Tour Type:

  • Independent
  • Tour Guide
  • Package Tour

By Interest:

  • Nature
  • Culture
  • Sports
  • Others

By Age Group:

  • 15 to 25 Years
  • 26 to 35 Years
  • 36 to 45 Years
  • 46 to 55 Years
  • 55+ Years

By Duration:

  • Day hike
  • 1 to 4 overnights
  • 5+ Nights

By Spending:

  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Shopping
  • Others

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the demand for hiking and trekking tourism in Sri Lanka?

Demand in Sri Lanka is expected to rise at a CAGR of 7.2% through 2034.

How big is the hiking and trekking tourism business in Sri Lanka?

Revenue in Sri Lanka is expected to total US$ 834.7 million in 2024.

What is the future of hiking and trekking tourism business in Sri Lanka?

Total sales are projected to reach US$ 1,673.0 million in 2034.

Who are the top hiking and trekking tourism companies in Sri Lanka?

Nestle Purina and Trixie Heimtierbedarf GmbH & Co. KG are key players.

At what rate did Sri Lanka hiking and trekking tourism grow historically?

The business grew at -4.9% CAGR from 2019 to 2023.

What is the trend of tourism in Sri Lanka?

Increasing variation in travel motivation and surging trend of solo travel.

Table of Content

1. Executive Summary

    1.1. Industry 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. Evolution Analysis

    1.3. FMI Analysis and Recommendations

2. Gross Revenue

    2.1. Gross Revenue (US$ million) and Forecast (2023 to 2033)

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

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

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

3. Growth Parameters

    3.1. Government’s Patronage Towards Contributing to Growth

    3.2. Tourist Attraction Towards Visiting Battleground is Driving the Business

    3.3. The launch of various programs by government is building Wine Tourism Infrastructure

    3.4. Others (During the course study)

4. Supply to Demand: Today’s Travel Distribution Network

    4.1. Direct v/s Indirect Distribution

    4.2. Travel Gross Revenues, by Channel, 2024

        4.2.1. Supplier Direct

        4.2.2. TMC

        4.2.3. Tour Operator

        4.2.4. OTA

5. Direct Suppliers

    5.1. Total Supplier, Share by Segment (%), 2024

        5.1.1. Airlines

        5.1.2. Hotel Companies

        5.1.3. Tour Operators

6. Indirect Suppliers

    6.1. OTA (Online Travel Agency)

    6.2. Traditional Travel Agencies

    6.3. TMC's (Travel Management Companies)

    6.4. Corporate Buyers

    6.5. Aggregators

7. Number of Bookings, 2024

    7.1. By Demographic

        7.1.1. Male

        7.1.2. Female

        7.1.3. Kids

    7.2. By Group Composition

        7.2.1. Family

        7.2.2. Couple

        7.2.3. Solo

        7.2.4. Group

    7.3. By Interest

        7.3.1. Nature

        7.3.2. Culture

        7.3.3. Sports

        7.3.4. Others

    7.4. By Age Group

        7.4.1. 15 to 25 Years

        7.4.2. 26 to 35 Years

        7.4.3. 36 to 45 Years

        7.4.4. 46 to 55 Years

        7.4.5. 55+ Years

    7.5. By Duration

        7.5.1. Day hike

        7.5.2. 1 to 4 Overnights

        7.5.3. 5+ Nights

    7.6. By Spending

        7.6.1. Accommodation

        7.6.2. Food

        7.6.3. Shopping

        7.6.4. Others

8. Challenges and Looking Forward

    8.1. Success Stories: Case Studies

    8.2. FMI Recommendations

9. Stakeholders Landscape - Key Direct Suppliers

    9.1. Airlines

        9.1.1. Top Players

        9.1.2. Business Concentration

        9.1.3. Industry Share

    9.2. Hotel Companies

        9.2.1. Top Players

        9.2.2. Business Concentration

        9.2.3. Industry Share

    9.3. Tour Operators

        9.3.1. Top Players

        9.3.2. Business Concentration

        9.3.3. Industry Share

10. Social Media Sentimental Analysis

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

    10.2. Social Media Platforms Preferred

    10.3. Trending #Hashtags

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

    10.5. Trending Subject Titles

11. Assumptions and Acronyms Used

12. Research Methodology

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List of Tables

Table 01: Total Tourist Arrivals (million), 2024

Table 02: Total Spending (US$ million) and Forecast (2019 to 2034)

Table 03: Number of Tourists (million) and Forecast (2019 to 2034)

Table 04: Spending per Traveler
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 (2024 to 2034)

Figure 02: Total Spending Y-o-Y Growth Projections (2019 to 2034)

Figure 03: Number of Tourists (million) and Forecast (2024 to 2034)

Figure 04: Number of Tourists Y-o-Y Growth Projections (2019 to 2034)

Figure 05: Spending per Traveller (US$ million) and Forecast (2029 to 2034)

Figure 06: Spending per Traveller Y-o-Y Growth Projections (2019 to 2034)

Figure 07: Current Industry Analysis (% of demand), By Activity Type, 2024

Figure 08: Current Industry Analysis (% of demand), By Age Group, 2024

Figure 09: Current Industry Analysis (% of demand), By Demographics, 2024

Figure 10: Current Industry Analysis (% of demand), By Nationality, 2024

Figure 11: Current Industry Analysis (% of demand), By Booking Channel, 2024

Figure 12: Current Industry Analysis (% of demand), By Tour Type, 2024


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