by OSAM TOUR · Updated Oct. 1, 2023
With this article we uncover the latest travel market trends, highlighting key tourism market statistics, and the demographics of travelers. We demystify top travel destinations, examine the role of travel agencies and operators, and decode the popularity of travel influencers.
In this statistic roundup, you’ll learn:
- Tourism Industry Market Size across Main Regions in 2023
- The Growth Rate of Tourism Industry from 2015 to 2030
- Adventure Tourism Market Size
- Business Travel Market Size
- Key Traveller Demographics
- Top Travel Destinations
- Top Travel Operators and Travel Agencies
- Top Travel Influencers and Earnings from Travel Blogging
Tourism Market Statistics (Editors Picks)
- Global travel market size: USD 2.3 trillion in 2023.
- Projected growth rate of tourism globally: CAGR of 5.9% from 2023 to 2030.
- Adventure tourism market size: USD 366.7 billion in 2022.
- Business travel market size: USD 1.0 trillion in 2022.
- Average adventure travel spend per trip: USD 2,900 (for 8 nights).
- The most popular travel destination: France.
- The most visited place in the world: the Great Wall of China.
- Top visited city in the world: Bangkok.
- The largest tour operator: TUI Group.
- The best-rated travel company: National Geographic Expeditions.
- The most famous travel influencer: Murad and Nataly Osmann of ‘#FollowMeTo’.
Global Tourism Industry Market Size in 2023
What is the size of the travel market in 2023?
According to a research from Statista, the global travel market size stood at a sizeable USD 1.3 trillion in 2020. The market experienced a significant fall due to the pandemic, as the size in the previous year, 2019, was USD 2.0 trillion. The report estimates that the global tourism market almost recovered in 2022 and continues to rise to reach an impressive USD 2.3 trillion in 2023.
Factors fueling this growth include a resurgence in travel demand, the convenience of online travel booking platforms, progressive government initiatives to promote tourism, affordable air travel, and an uptick in disposable income in many parts of the world.
Market Size of the Tourism Sector Worldwide from 2013 to 2023
(in billion U.S. dollars)
How big is the travel market in the US?
According to data from IBISWorld, the domestic tourism market’s size by revenue in the United States was USD 788.1 billion in 2020. Owing to the pandemic, travel came to a near standstill with lockdowns and travel restrictions. This was a substantial setback considering the American travel market size in 2019 was about USD 1.1 trillion!
However, as states have opened up and travel restrictions relaxed, the US tourism industry has begun rebounding. The US tourism sector ramped up at an annualized rate of 23.6% in 2021 reaching approximately USD 944.4 billion in 2021 and continuing towards USD 1.2 trillion in 2022.
How big is the travel market in Europe?
Europe is one of the most popular destinations for international tourists, capturing almost 50% of all global international arrivals. According to the European Travel Commission, Europe attracted 745 million international tourists in 2019. However, the resurgence of travel post-pandemic has been slower in Europe, as compared to other regions.
Eurostat reported that tourist accommodation establishments in the European Union saw a decline of 52% in 2020 as compared to 2019, due to the pandemic. In monetary terms, Europe’s travel market size fell from EUR 740 billion in 2019 to about EUR 370 billion in 2020. Nevertheless, the recovery has already begun and the travel market is expected to bounce back to EUR 570 billion in 2023.
How big is the travel market in the UK?
According to Statista, the tourism industry in the UK generated GBP 145.9 billion in 2019. However, the UK was hit hard by the pandemic. Data from the UK Office for National Statistics shows a 73% decline in overseas residents’ visits to the UK in 2020 compared to 2019.
Despite this, the market was primed for recovery. As per GlobalData, the UK’s tourism market size reached a value of GBP 157 billion in 2021, and is projected to grow to GBP 257 billion in 2023.
How big is the travel market in Asia?
According to GlobalData, travel and tourism’s direct contribution to Asia’s GDP was USD 884.9 billion in 2019. But in 2020 Asia’s travel market was adversely affected by the pandemic.
A report from Statista estimates that revenue in the Asia’s travel and tourism market reached USD 694 billion in 2021, with a significant portion of this recovery being driven by domestic travel. As the recovery continues, various market research studies project that Asia’s travel market could grow to USD 1.4 trillion in 2023.
How big is the travel market in Africa?
The pandemic heavily impacted travel in Africa. United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) data indicates that there were improvements in 2021, and this positive trajectory continued into 2022. It’s projected that in 2023, Africa’s tourism market could reach a size of approximately USD 274 billion. This includes all forms of tourism, such as domestic travel, inbound international tourism and business trips.
How big is the travel market in Latin America?
According to World Bank data, during the pandemic international tourism receipts dropped from USD 33 billion in 2019 to USD 13 billion in 2020. As per forecasts, revenue in the Travel and Tourism market in Latin America is expected to reach USD 33 billion in 2023.
Revenue in the Travel Market in Latin America from 2017 to 2027
Sources: Statista 1, Allied Market Research, IBISWorld, U.S. Travel Association, European Travel Commission, Eurostat, Statista 2, UK Office for National Statistics, Global Data, Statista 3, UNWTO, Statista 4
Global Tourism Industry Growth Rate 2015 – 2030
What is the growth of global tourism?
Tourism worldwide has seen a trend of consistent growth over the years, exhibiting a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.2% from 2015 to 2019. However, 2020 saw a historic drop due to COVID-19, with the global tourism market declining 40% from the previous year. With impressive resilience in the tourism sector, the market witnessed significant recoveries, with the annualized growth rate from 2020 to 2023 at 20%.
The global tourism industry is forecasted to continue its growth trajectory with an estimated CAGR of 5.9% from 2023 to 2030. This growth outlook suggests a robust and sustained resurgence of international travel activity.
Why tourism is the fastest growing industry?
The tourism industry has been one of the fastest-growing sectors over the past few decades and continues to show robust growth due to:
- Globalization: Increased globalization has spurred cultural curiosity, fostering an environment where more people are attracted to exploring new countries and cultures.
- Increased Disposable Income: Economic development in many parts of the world means individuals and families have more disposable income to spend on travel.
- Ease of Travel: The advent and growth of online booking platforms, more international flights, and easier visa procedures in many countries have simplified travel planning and execution.
- Affordable Air Travel: Budget airlines have revolutionized the air travel industry, making it more accessible to a broader population.
- Digital Influence: Social media platforms and travel influencers have a significant impact on encouraging more people to travel.
- Increase in Solo and Adventure Travel: Changing attitudes towards solo and adventure travel have also added a new dimension to tourism growth.
Is the tourism industry growing in the US?
According to data from IBISWorld, tourism in the U.S. is rebounding significantly from the roughly 42.7% dip the industry experienced in 2020. It’s estimated that the industry’s annualized growth rate from 2020 to 2023 is 22%. This growth is driven by the return of large events that attract tourists, such as music festivals, the rise of domestic travel, and sustainable tourism becoming more mainstream.
Is the tourism industry growing in Europe?
According to the European Commission, international tourism in the EU made a significant recovery in 2022, after the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As per the tourism market forecast by Polaris Market Research, European tourism is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 6% between 2023 and 2028.
Is the tourism industry growing in the UK?
According to data from GlobalData, the UK tourism market could grow at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2023 to 2030. This hopeful projection points to a range of driving factors, like the increasing popularity of outdoor and nature-based tourism, the return of major events, and a boost in ‘staycation’ culture, where UK residents opt to holiday within the country.
Is the tourism industry growing in Asia?
Markets such as China and Thailand have focused on domestic tourism to help compensate for the loss of international visitors during the pandemic, while others like Singapore have utilized travel bubbles. It’s forecasted that from 2023 to 2030, Asia’s tourism sector will outpace global growth rates with a projected CAGR of 7%.
Is the tourism industry growing in Africa?
According to a report by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), international arrivals are projected to increase by 3-5% in 2022. The African tourism market is primed for substantial growth in the coming years, with projected CAGR of 6.7% from 2023 to 2030.
Is the tourism industry growing in Latin America?
Prior to the pandemic, Latin America was one of the fastest-growing regions in the world for tourism. Projected growth rates suggest that the Latin American tourism market is poised for a comeback over the next few years. According to a report by Allied Market Research, the Latin American tourism sector will grow at a CAGR of 5.8% from 2023 to 2030.
Adventure Tourism Market Size
What is adventure tourism?
Adventure tourism is a type of niche tourism that combines physical activity, cultural exchange, or interactions with nature. Think hiking in the Himalayas, diving in the Great Barrier Reef, or exploring the ancient ruins in Cambodia. For more details about adventure travel, its origin and popular use, check out our article.
How big is the adventure travel industry?
Originally, the adventure travel industry was considered a niche segment within the broader tourism sector. However, the rising interest in offbeat, experiential and adventure-filled trips has significantly expanded this sector. According to a report by Allied Market Research, the global adventure tourism market was valued at USD 366.7 billion in 2022.
It is projected that by 2032, the global adventure tourism market will reach USD 4.6 trillion. This represents a CAGR of 28.7% from 2023 to 2032.
Why is adventure tourism trending?
Several intertwined factors contribute to the rising trend of adventure tourism:
- Experiential Travel: Adventure tourism offers unique, personalized experiences, helping travelers to not just see, but internally connect with a destination.
- Digital Influence: Seeing images and stories of thrilling activities and breathtaking landscapes on social media encourages more people to seek out these experiences.
- Fitness and Wellness: There’s a growing focus on wellness and maintaining an active lifestyle, which aligns perfectly with adventure travel.
- Sustainable Tourism: Adventure tourism and eco-friendly travel often connect travelers more closely with nature and local communities, which can engender a deep appreciation for the environment and native cultures.
Hot Trending Adventure Activities
Sources: Allied Market Research
Business Travel Market Size
How big is the business travel market?
Global business travel spend reached a record-breaking USD 1.4 trillion in 2019, marking an increase from roughly USD 1.2 trillion in 2018. However, as with all segments of the travel industry, the pandemic imposed a great impact on business travel which led to a slump in 2020 with a decline to about USD 661 billion. Total spending on global business travel reached USD 697 billion in 2021, 5.5% above the pandemic-era low of 2020.
According to a report from the Global Business Travel Association, in 2022, global business travel spending rose 47% to USD 1.0 trillion. These strong gains have continued into 2023, with 32% growth in global expenditures expected this year. The estimated breakdown of the USD 1.0 trillion in business travel expenditures includes USD 183 billion in air spend, USD 395 billion in lodging spend, USD 191 billion in food and beverage spend, USD 138 billion in ground transportation spend and USD 121 billion in other travel expenses.
Global Business Travel Spend from 2019 to 2027
How big is the business travel market across the regions?
Asia is projected to be the fastest growing region in the world in 2023, with Japan increasing business travel spendings by 69% from 2022, South Korea growing at 44% and China at 39%. Among top growing countries in European region are United Kingdom and Italy, both estimated to grow by 43% YoY, followed by Germany at 38%. Business travel spendings in the United Stated are expected to increase modestly by 25% in 2023, building on a strong 73% growth from a previous year.
Total Business Travel Spending in 2023 – Top 15 Markets
Key Traveller Demographics
What demographic of people travel the most?
Researchers often find that the Millennial demographic, individuals born between 1981 and 1996 – currently age 27 to 42, lead as the most active travel group.
According to a survey conducted by Bloomberg, Millennials made up 31.5% of all travelers worldwide in 2020. This comes as no surprise considering this group is known for prioritizing experiences over possessions. Also, this demographic is very comfortable leveraging technology for their travel needs, an aspect that has revolutionized the scale and manner in which they travel.
Following closely after millennials, Generation X (people aged 43 to 58) makes up 25.5% of all travelers, while Baby Boomers (aged between 59 and 77) represent 22.2%.
What age group spends the most on travel?
While Millennials take the lead in terms of travel frequency, it’s the older generation – specifically Baby Boomers, those aged between 59 and 77 – that often spend the most on travel. Baby Boomers, many of whom are now in retirement or approaching it, tend to have more disposable income and free time to spend on travel compared to younger generations. They often prioritize comfort, luxury, and convenience, opting for higher-end accommodations, premium seating on transports, and organized tours.
How much does the average tourist spend?
Baby Boomers on average spend around USD 6,200 per trip. The money is of an obstacle for the younger generations, with Gen Z spending on average USD 2,800 per trip.
Millennials are most likely to get into debt to discover new places. 81% of Gen Z’s say budget is a factor in their travel decisions, compared to 57% of Baby Boomers. Travellers of all ages are looking to spend their money wisely, with 93% of Gen X looking for the best deals when booking trips.
Travel Spend per Trip by Generation: 2020-2023 Average
What is the demographic of adventure tourism?
Adventure tourism is characterized by activities that often involve physical exertion, immersion in nature, exploration of new environments, and experiencing exotic cultures. It can range from soft adventure activities like bird-watching or hiking to hard adventure pursuits such as skydiving or mountain climbing.
Millennials and Gen Z tourists without children are the group that enjoys hard tourism activities. The older age groups tend to focus more on low-risk, soft adventure activities.
According to the Adventure Travel Trade Association, Europe is the main source market for adventure tourism companies in Africa (43%) and Asia (30%). South America profits mainly from North American tourists (54%), followed by European tourists (33%). Within Europe itself, European tourists are accountable for almost 60% of the adventure travellers.
Adventure tourists spend on adventure travel approximately USD 380 per day per visitor, on average. Most popular itinerary is priced at USD 2,900 (for 8 nights).
Top Travel Destinations
What is the most popular destination to travel to?
The most popular destination for global travelers often varies from year to year. According to the latest data from the UNWTO, France has remained the world’s most popular tourist destination. In 2018, France welcomed 141.3 million international tourists (48.4 million overnight visitors and 92.9 million same-day visitors / excursionists).
Known for its rich historical heritage, world-renowned cuisine, iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, and idyllic countryside, France continues to attract tourists from all corners of the globe. Check out our travel guide to France to discover best time to visit, main attractions and money-saving tips.
Review our article to discover the best winter holiday destinations in 2024:
15 Most Popular Countries Worldwide: 2019 to 2021
(number of international tourist arrivals with overnights, in millions)
What is the most visited place in the world?
The most popular tourist attractions, as measured by annual visitors (however, data varies):
- The Great Wall of China: One of the most iconic landmarks globally, the Great Wall attracts around 10 million visitors each year.
- The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France: A symbol of France, an estimated 7 million people ascend the Eiffel Tower annually.
- The Louvre Museum in Paris, France: The world’s largest art museum and a central Paris landmark, it drew nearly 9.6 million visitors in 2019.
What are the top 3 cities visited in the world?
According to the Global Destination Cities Index published by Mastercard, Bangkok continues to lead among top destination cities, with more than 22 million international overnight visitors.
- Bangkok, Thailand: Renowned for its vibrant street life, Bangkok consistently ranks as one of the most visited cities on the planet.
- Paris, France: Known as the “City of Light”, Paris offers visitors an alluring blend of history, art, culture, fashion, and gastronomy. Its iconic landmarks help to draw millions of tourists each year.
- London, United Kingdom: With its combination of rich history, iconic landmarks, and contemporary cultural attractions, London continues to be a favorite destination for travelers worldwide.
10 Most Popular Cities Worldwide
Top Most Visited Cities Worldwide
Top Travel Operators and Travel Agencies
What is the difference between a tour operator and a travel agency?
Tour Operators primarily design and organize package holidays. They are involved in the creation of travel products by liaising with various service providers like hotels, airlines, ground transport companies, and local guides.
Travel Agencies act as intermediaries between travel product providers and travelers. While they do not create travel packages themselves, they sell a range of products from multiple tour operators, including package holidays, hotel bookings, flights, car rentals.
Who are the biggest 10 tour operators in the world?
Here’s a list of the world’s largest tour operators as of 2022:
- TUI Group: TUI Group is the largest tour operator in the world. The Germany-based company offers services ranging from flight bookings, hotel deals to large-scale package holidays, across various continents.
- Booking Holdings Inc. Known for its six major brands — Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, KAYAK, Rentalcars.com, and OpenTable — Booking Holdings is a leader in online travel and related services worldwide.
- Expedia Group: Expedia, a US-based company, offers a wide array of travel services, including flights, hotels, vacation packages, car rentals, and cruises.
- Thomas Cook Group: Despite facing financial issues in 2019, Thomas Cook Group has successfully made a comeback, primarily as an online tour operator.
- Ctrip (Trip.com Group): Ctrip is the largest tour operator in China and offers services such as accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, packaged tours, and corporate travel management.
- Fosun Tourism Group: Known for owning the revived Thomas Cook brand, Fosun is a major player in the travel industry and operates the popular Club Med holiday resorts.
- Flight Centre Travel Group: An Australia-based group that handles both leisure and corporate travel. Its services include flights, hotels, vacation packages, travel insurance, cruises, and more.
- Jet2 Holidays: A leading tour operator in the UK, Jet2 offers package holidays that include flights, hotels, and car hire.
- Cox & Kings Ltd: One of the oldest travel companies globally, Cox & Kings, based in India, offers luxury tours, academic travel, and hotel bookings.
- Airbnb, Inc.: Though not a traditional tour operator, Airbnb’s Experiences platform offers guided activities led by local hosts.
What is the largest travel agency in the US?
Expedia Group is considered to be the largest travel agency in the United States. Established in 1996, the company has grown into an extensive travel booking platform with an international reach, offering services ranging from flight bookings and hotel accommodations to car rentals and vacation packages.
Included under its umbrella are well-known travel brands such as Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Trivago, Orbitz, and Travelocity, as well as vacation rental brands Vrbo and HomeAway.
What is Europe’s largest travel company?
The title of Europe’s largest travel company goes to TUI Group. A multinational travel and tourism company headquartered in Hanover, Germany, TUI is the largest leisure, travel, and tourism company in the world. TUI Group is renowned for its extensive offerings, providing scheduled and charter flights, cruise ships, hotels and resorts, and packaged tours. It owns travel agencies in several countries, operates six European airlines collectively known as TUI Airways, and offers maritime and hospitality services.
What is the best-rated travel company?
User reviews and ratings vary across different platforms. However, one company that consistently receives high ratings is National Geographic Expeditions.
National Geographic Expeditions offers a wide range of travel experiences, including land trips, river and ocean cruises, photography workshops, family adventures, and expeditions to remote and challenging destinations. The company is lauded for its efforts to promote conservation, support local economies, and ensure the well-being and respect of the local people and cultures.
What is the most successful travel company in the world?
One of the world’s most successful travel companies is Booking Holdings. Booking Holdings marked its success by its extensive global reach, influencing the lodging reservation sector of the industry. In terms of financial success, Booking Holdings generated approximately $17.1 billion in revenue in 2022, making it one of the financially largest travel companies in the world.
What is the longest-established travel company in the world?
The title of the longest-established travel company goes to Cox & Kings Ltd. Founded in 1758 by Richard Cox, it holds the distinction of being the world’s oldest travel agency still in operation.
Cox & Kings Ltd. originated as a series of enterprises providing services to the British Army. It wasn’t until the 20th century, after several successful military campaigns and royal warrants, that the company pivoted towards leisure travel. Today, Cox & Kings Ltd. operates in several countries and offers travel packages to multiple destinations around the globe, alongside other services like holiday packages, foreign exchange, and hotel bookings.
Top Travel Influencers and Earnings from Travel Blogging
Who are the most famous travel influencers in the world?
Here are some of the most famous travel influencers in the world:
- Murad and Nataly Osmann of ‘#FollowMeTo’: This Russian couple rose to international fame with their signature #FollowMeTo photo series, where Nataly is seen leading Murad by the hand to various world landmarks.
- Kiersten Rich of ‘The Blonde Abroad’: Kiersten Rich left a career in corporate finance to travel the world and has since become a prominent travel influencer.
- Matthew Kepnes of ‘Nomadic Matt’: Known for his budget travel tips, Matt’s blog provides advice for travelers looking to see the world without breaking the bank.
- Jack Morris of ‘doyoutravel’: Jack, an Instagram-famous travel influencer, documents his travels with high-quality photographs and captions.
- Louis Cole of ‘FunForLouis’: Known for his daily vlogs on YouTube, Louis Cole shares his worldwide adventures, which often include extreme sports.
- Paul Nicklen: A National Geographic photographer, Paul Nicklen, showcases captivating wildlife and nature shots that reveal the beauty and plight of the planet.
Who are the top 10 travel influencers on TikTok?
Below are ten notable travel influencers who have gained popularity on TikTok:
- Chriselle Lim (@Chrisellelim): She shares travel experiences through lifestyle content, often featuring her family’s adventures.
- The Bentist (@thebentist): This travelling orthodontist shares adventures around the world, as well his dental tips.
- Jay Alvarrez (@jayalvarrez): Adventure traveler Jay Alvarrez posts high-energy, thrilling clips of extreme sports and experiences in stunning locations.
- SandyMakesSense (@sandymakessense): Known for her travel, lifestyle and food videos, Sandy illustrates daily life in London and various travel spots.
- Arielle Meads (@arielle_meads): Based in New Zealand, Arielle showcases the astonishing beauty of her country in her TikToks.
- Kara and Nate (@karaandnate): This couple features clips from their travels to 100 counties, offering a combined dose of humor, adventure and travel tips.
- Lucas Tjomsland (@lucastjoms): His visually captivating videos from remote and rugged landscapes have attracted hefty following.
- Brett Conti (@brettconti): A NYC based travel influencer who loves to share his travel experiences along with entrepreneurial tips.
- Louis Dreads (@louisdreads): Louis captures his outdoor adventure escapades, often featuring his dog, with beautiful Scottish landscapes as the backdrop.
- Mike & Kat (@mikeandkat): Their dreamy, slow-motion videos showcase the couple’s worldwide travel adventures.
Who are the top 10 influencers in adventure travel?
Here are ten influential figures in adventure travel:
- Bear Grylls (@beargrylls): Known for his television series “Man vs. Wild,” Bear Grylls is a recognizable figure in the adventure realm.
- Chris Burkard (@chrisburkard): Renowned adventure photographer, Chris’s stunning landscapes and extreme adventures captivate a wide audience.
- Cory Richards (@coryrichards): A visionary photographer and climber, Cory’s work captures the extremes of nature, portraying the human relationship with the earth.
- Renan Ozturk (@renan_ozturk): An adventurer and mountaineer, Renan features his challenging climbs and expeditions through cinematic storytelling.
- Erik Weihenmayer (@erikweihenmayer): Erik, despite losing his vision, has climbed the tallest peaks on all the seven continents.
- Rebecca Rusch (@rebeccarusch): Known as the “Queen of Pain,” Rebecca is a seven-time world champion who shares her motivational adventures.
- Jimmy Chin (@jimmychin): An experienced climber, and National Geographic photographer, Jimmy captures incredible adventure stories.
- Jedidiah Jenkins (@jedidiahjenkins): Jedidiah gained fame for his bicycle trip from Oregon to Patagonia.
- Lael Wilcox (@laelwilcox): Lael is a distinguished ultra-endurance cyclist who has completed some of the world’s toughest cycling challenges.
- Adrian Ballinger (@adrianballinger): A noted mountaineer, Adrian shares his gripping high-altitude climbs and efforts to promote responsible adventure travel.
Who is the highest paid travel blogger?
A successful travel blogger can expect to earn anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 per month. This revenue typically comes from a mix of advertising income, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and collaborations with travel and tourism companies.
One of the most financially successful travel bloggers is believed to be Matthew Kepnes, also known as “Nomadic Matt”, who reportedly earned over $100,000 per month at their peak. His blog offers comprehensive advice for budget travel and sees millions of visitors annually. Kepnes monetizes through a diverse mix of revenue streams that include the sale of his multiple guidebooks, online courses, affiliate marketing, sponsored content, speaking engagements, and running tours.
That’s a wrap for our roundup of tourism market statistics.
The stat that intrigued us the most was the fact that the global adventure tourism market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 28.7% from 2023 to 2032.
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