The sustainable tourism market, according to recent research by Future Market Insights (FMI), is expected to develop at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.4 percent between 2022 and 2032. In the short term, the segment to grow by one-third in 2022, topping $1 trillion in value; in 2032, it would reach $8.4 trillion. That all said, the share of global sustainable tourism market in the parent market (travel and tourism industry) is estimated to be at 2 to 5 percent.

About the segment: The primary objective of sustainable tourism is to reduce the negative impact of tourism on environmental surroundings and local culture, so that they will be available through future generations, while funding to generate income, occupation and the preservation of local ecologies.

Sustainability in tourism is an ethical practice in tourism similar to responsible tourism and ecotourism in that it is all about efficient technology, cleaner production, environmental protection and communal engagement.

Drivers and Opportunity Areas

Largely, a sense of accountability towards the environment and the socioeconomic well-being of local societies among tourism operators is fueling the demand for sustainable tourism all over the globe. Other drivers that trigger the need and requirement of the sustainable tourism segment include growing awareness towards securing the natural and traditional habitat of the destination concerned, as well as a shift in the mindset of many travelers from traditional traveling concerns—such as price, brand, quality and convenience—towards social, cultural and environmental issues that are significant to the places they vacation.

Sustainable tourism is still an emerging concept and many regions are not aware of this type of tourism; hence enormous opportunities, including covering many untapped areas and the fusion of sustainable tourism with ethno-tourism and eco-tourism, are coming up as possible opportunity areas for sustainable tourism in the global tourism industry.

Millennial and Gen Z travelers tend to be more inclined towards sustainable tourism. In fact, the report points out that—due to the proliferation of social media—many in these age groups are opting for full-time work by posting videos in remote places and unexplored regions. Another noticeable trend encountered is the transformation of sustainable tourism from a holiday trip to social work. Younger generations are ready to pay more for sustainable brands that display commitment or dedication to environmental and social values.

Challenges of Growing Sustainably

There are, however, certain factors that are hindering the growth of the sustainable tourism segment— such as a limited audience, as this concept of tourism is not often (seen as) comfortable and luxurious to most travelers. Another restraint is less awareness among global tourists about sustainable tourism, as some travelers prefer highly comfortable and luxurious vacations and look for such options only.

In addition, over-tourism, can prove to be a “menace,” as the report says. In terms of environmental impact, over-tourism results in an increase in water consumption, air pollution, litter and waste in tourism destinations. Increasing economic activities in developing countries also result in more energy and consumption demand, which generally lead to environmental degradation.

A change of awareness and how the tourism segment is operated could lead to behavioral changes in the long-term that make tourism more sustainable.

Source: Future Market Insights

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