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Niche Tourism, 2022 Update - Thematic Research

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  • 42 Pages
  • January 2022
  • Region: Global
  • GlobalData
  • ID: 5546566
Niche Tourism is now recognized across the entire industry with many companies looking to differentiate their brand from others. Niche tourism has many synergies with the experience economy because niche tourists are constantly searching for engaging and unique experiences which match their interests. In recent years, mainstream holiday providers have identified niche tourism as a potential growth area. Subsequently, niche tourism is no longer confined to small independent companies. Many large conglomerates such as Expedia, TUI and Booking Holdings have globalized the niche tourism industry through mergers and acquisitions and brand extensions, globalizing the sector.

However, the globalization of niche tourism has arguably reduced its authenticity. Many large travel intermediaries now market to mass tourists. Cruise operators are a prime example of this, where they can often carry thousands of tourists on an all-inclusive basis, serving food and drink which meets the demands of the typical mass tourist. All the while, many are advertising ‘authentic’ experiences such as walking tours, wine tasting, cookery classes and festivals - all of which are considered types of niche tourism.

COVID-19 has altered traveler demands which has created an opportunity for tourism businesses to innovate and develop their product. Many people have been confined to homeworking, lockdowns, and social distancing intermittently for the past two years, creating a desire to enjoy wider, ‘greener’ spaces while engaging with others. As a result, there is a significant opportunity for niche tourism companies involved in rural and adventure tourism to grow their product. Research from the the publisher Ads database suggests that operators targeting these types of tourists will receive strong support from DMO’s (Destination Marketing Organizations) as many are actively targeting this market.

Key Highlights

  • Niche tourism within the travel industry can no longer be considered ‘small’. With a growing global middle class and better-educated population, particularly in developing and densely populated countries in the APAC region, more tourists seek more wholesome, immersive, and fulfilling touristic experiences. The experience economy also plays a large part, with many travel products now commoditized due to the online travel boom and the emergence of price comparison sites. The future of travel is providing a more fulfilling experience. With many core travel and tourism companies such as hotels and airlines aiming to create more brand loyalty, changes to the 'traditional' travel product are likely.
  • In recent years, the maturing tourism market has shifted tourists away from the annual ‘sun and beach’ getaway to develop an experience more aligned with holidaymakers’ specific hobbies, interests, curiosities and needs. As the publisher shift to a world with increasingly more leisure time, there is a greater desire to maximize each experience. Leisure tourism is now a broad term for traveler motivations as niche tourism is a critical element to consider as consumer attitudes shift towards more special interest travel. Although this consumer behavior ripples across all age groups in tourism, it has become particularly relevant among younger adults such as Millennials and GenZ.
  • The tastes of Gen Z and Millennials are helping to drive some forms of niche tourism to the next level. Over the past three years (2018 to 2021), the publisher has surveyed adults regarding their typical holiday across several generations. The publisher has discovered that a higher proportion of younger adults typically book niche holiday types such as adventure, sport, gastronomy, and LGBTQ within these surveys.
  • Ecotourism saw the most significant increase of respondents within the the publisher consumer surveys, growing by 5% between 2018 and 2021 (14% to 19%). Sustainable travel has become a significant issue within the travel industry, and there is a growth in the ‘responsible tourist’. Key public figures in popular culture such as David Attenborough have highlighted the impacts of human consumption on global warming. At the same time, activists such as Greta Thunberg have become a significant global influence, particularly on younger generations who are increasingly concerned about their future on the planet.


  • This thematic report provides an overview of niche tourisms role within the travel sector today and how it will continue its involvement.
  • The key trends within this theme are split between enterprise trends and tourist trends that are recognizable today.
  • Several case studies are included to analyze the multiple ways travel companies such as tour operators, travel agencies, DMO’s and cruise lines have tried to capitalize on niche tourism.
  • Our unique thematic analysis then looks at recommendations for travel and tourism organizations and a deep dive into the leaders and laggards within the niche tourism spectrum, complete with industry examples and analysis.

Reasons to Buy

  • Understand the current niche tourism trends within the travel landscape today and how these will escalate in the near future.
  • Assess how travel and tourism companies such as tour operators, OTAs and DMO’s are utilizing niche tourism to drive revenues.
  • Acknowledge the potential pitfalls of using niche tourism by understanding the social, cultural, and environmental effects on the destination.
  • Discover recommendations that for businesses involved in niche tourism
  • The publisher’s thematic research ecosystem is a single, integrated global research platform that provides an easy-to-use framework for tracking all themes across all companies in all sectors. It has a proven track record of identifying the important themes early, enabling companies to make the right investments ahead of the competition, and secure that all-important competitive advantage.
  • All across the travel and tourism supply chain, now have an opportunity to capitalize on niche tourism, and there are notable examples of this. Therefore, all should buy this report to fully understand how this theme will continue to be a key theme in the future travel landscape.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Players
  • Thematic Briefing
  • Trends
  • Consumer trends
  • Enterprise trends
  • Industry trends
  • Industry Analysis
  • Holidays are becoming more varied
  • Case studies
  • Impacts of niche tourism
  • Tourists are searching for more immersive experiences
  • Overtourism
  • Social impacts on local communities
  • Recommendations
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Timeline
  • Value Chain
  • Third-party suppliers
  • Direct suppliers
  • Ancillary suppliers
  • Companies
  • Public companies
  • Private companies
  • Glossary
  • Further Reading
  • Our Thematic Research Methodology
  • About the Publisher
  • Contact the Publisher

Companies Mentioned (Partial List)

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes, but is not limited to:

  • Accor
  • Airbnb
  • Alux Caverna Lounge
  • Atlantic
  • Booking Holdings
  • British Airways
  • Carnival Corporation
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Chernobyl Tour
  • Comcast Corp
  • Despagar.com Group
  • Eva Air
  • Expedia Group
  • Friendly Planet Travel
  • GAdventures
  • Gaggan
  • Genting Malaysia
  • Gourmet on Tour
  • Hays Travel
  • Hemingway’s Lounge
  • IHG
  • Intrepid Travel
  • Kimpton Hotels
  • Kuoni
  • Merlin Entertainments
  • Las Vegas Sands
  • MGM Resorts International
  • Miral Asset Group
  • Mirazur
  • Norma 2.0
  • Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • Makemytrip.com
  • Megacruise
  • On the Beach
  • OYO
  • Rainforest Café
  • Responsible Travel
  • Seaworld Parks and Entertainment
  • SIM Holdings
  • Soviet Tours
  • STA Travel
  • The Northern Lights Bar
  • TUI Group
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • United Airlines
  • Universal Studios
  • Walt Disney
  • WestJet
  • Wynn Resorts
  • Young Pioneer Tours