by on April 11, 2024
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The global religious tourism market is estimated to be valued at US$ 2,010.41 Bn in 2024 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.5% over the forecast period 2024 to 2031. Religious tourism involves traveling either domestically or internationally for pilgrimages, missionary trips, and participation in different religious seminars, conclaves, or events. The rising number of pilgrims annually undertaking religious trips to various religious destinations worldwide is propelling the growth of the religious tourism market. Key pilgrimage sites such as Jerusalem, Mecca, Vatican City, Lourdes, and Varanasi have witnessed substantial growth in the number of visitors in the past few years.

The growing importance of spiritual fulfillment along with cultural experiences is stimulating the demand for Religious Tourism Market Size across the globe. Additionally, the advent of low-cost airlines and improved transportation infrastructure in developing countries has made long-distance religious travel more affordable and accessible. Furthermore, religious destinations offer tourists opportunities to understand different cultures, local traditions, arts, handicrafts, cuisines, and participate in various religious festivities. This inclusive cultural exposure attracts a wide tourist demographic beyond strict religious devotees.

Key Takeaways

Key players operating in the religious tourism market are Holy Voyages, Gil Travel Group, Heritage Tours & Travels, Best Way Tours & Safaris, Regina Tours, Travelway Europe, SpainTOP, 206 Tours Inc., Indus Travels Inc., Brightspark Travel Inc., Wendy Wu Tours, ACE Cultural Tours, Kesari Tours Pvt Ltd, Go Thailand Tours, N.S. Travel & Tours Co., Ltd, Vansol Travel & Tours, Catholic Travel Centre, Amiel Tours LTD, Israel Travel Providers, LLC, and Maranatha Tours. Holy Voyages emerged as the global leader in religious travel by offering a variety of pilgrimage packages across multiple faiths and cultures.

There are ample growth opportunities for religious tourism providers in emerging markets of Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa attributed to rising spirituality and increasing disposable incomes. Countries like India, Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya are witnessing burgeoning religious travel with the advent of budget airlines and improved infrastructure connecting major pilgrimage destinations.

Key players are also focusing on global expansion by venturing into new markets and leveraging technological interventions like mobile apps and virtual reality experiences to enhance accessibility and engagement for global pilgrims. For instance, Israel Travel Providers has established operations in the US, Canada, Brazil and Mexico to cater to the increasing number of Christian pilgrims in the Americas visiting Israel.

Market Drivers

Increasing participation of youth and growing popularity of voluntourism is a key driver bolstering the growth of the religious tourism market. Voluntourism or volunteer tourism in religious sites involving educational and cultural initiatives is gaining traction among millennials and GEN Z. Moreover, increasing number of long holiday durations and annual leaves has fuelled shorter and frequent religious trips.

Market Restraints

Lack of adequate tourism-related infrastructure and transportation facilities at some remote religious destinations poses a challenge. Also, political conflicts, terrorism threats, and natural disasters in certain countries with major pilgrimage sites have negatively impacted religious travel in the past few years thereby restraining the market potential. High accommodation costs and expenditure required for rituals and ceremonies also deter some budget travellers.

Segment Analysis

The religious tourism market can be segmented on the basis of type into domestic and international religious tourism. The domestic religious tourism segment dominated the market in 2024 and is anticipated to continue its dominance over the forecast period. This is mainly due to the presence of many religious locations within countries that can be easily accessible for domestic tourists in their own country.

Global Analysis

Regionally, Asia Pacific accounted for the largest market share in the religious tourism market in 2024 owing to the presence of major pilgrimage sites for major religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity in countries like India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Philippines. It is also expected to be the fastest growing region during the forecast period due to rising income levels which is enabling more people to undertake religious trips. Europe is also a major regional market for religious tourism given the popularity of Catholic pilgrimages to sites in Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

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