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Wildlife Tourism Market Report


Wildlife Tourism Market by Group (Groups/Friends, Couples, Family, and Solo), Booking Mode (Direct, Travel Agent, and Marketplace Booking), and Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA): Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2023-2032


Pages: 290

Oct 2023

Wildlife Tourism Overview

Wildlife tourism is a specialized area of the travel industry that involves people and groups looking for immersive and frequently environmentally friendly experiences in natural settings. The main goal of this type of tourism is to observe and engage with different types of wildlife, such as animals, birds, marine life, and plants, in their natural habitats. While providing opportunity for tourists to experience and appreciate the beauty of the natural world, this type of tourism frequently encourages education, conservation, and appreciation for biodiversity.

Safari trips, birdwatching excursions, underwater explorations like scuba diving and snorkeling, as well as visits to animal reserves, national parks, and sanctuaries, are just a few examples of wildlife tourism experiences. The impact of human interaction on delicate ecosystems and animal behavior must be carefully managed to ensure the long-term preservation of these environments and their inhabitants, which presents ethical issues, conservation efforts, and sustainable practices as challenges within the industry.

Global Wildlife Tourism Market Analysis

The global wildlife tourism market size was $138.4 billion in 2022 and is predicted to grow with a CAGR of 5.3%, by generating a revenue of $230.6 billion by 2032.

COVID-19 Impact on Global Wildlife Tourism Market

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant and varied influence on the wildlife tourist industry, resulting in previously unheard-of landscape alterations. The industry saw a sharp decline in tourist arrivals at well-known wildlife destinations as travel restrictions, lockdowns, and health concerns spread across the world. This resulted in declining revenues and significant operational challenges for wildlife tour operators, conservation organizations, and local communities dependent on this sector. In addition to immediate financial burdens, the decision to close national parks, reserves, and wildlife sanctuaries in order to stop the spread of a virus may have had long-term ecological benefits because the ecosystems were spared from disruption by people. Although digital outreach and virtual experiences gained popularity during the pandemic, they were unable to fully make up for the loss of in-person engagement and money.

The crisis made the overreliance on foreign tourists in the wildlife tourism business vulnerable, leading to a reevaluation of marketing tactics, a diversification of target markets, and a stronger focus on sustainability and ethical ecotourism practices. It will take creative solutions to safeguard the safety of visitors, host communities, and the environment while utilizing technology to adapt to the new normal in wildlife tourism as nations progressively reopen and traffic resumes.

Environmental Awareness and Growing Conservationists’ Concerns to Drive Market Growth

A convergence of elements that jointly fostered its growth can be blamed for the expansion of the wildlife tourism market. There is an increased need for ethical and responsible wildlife interactions as a result of environmental awareness and growing conservationist concerns about wildlife. Travelers now have the opportunity to explore a variety of ecosystems because to technological developments, which have enhanced communication and transportation to previously inaccessible locations. In addition, the growth of social media and digital platforms has made it easier to share amazing wildlife experiences, encouraging a larger audience to go on similar trips. The economic potential of wildlife tourism has been acknowledged by governments and organizations around the world, which has prompted investments in infrastructure, rules to ensure sustainable practices, and the creation of protected areas. Wildlife tourism provides a way to escape into the wild, fostering personal development, education, and a deeper appreciation for biodiversity. Urbanization and contemporary lives have fostered a yearning for real interactions with nature. The astonishing expansion of the wildlife tourism market has been fueled by the complex interaction of environmental awareness, technology advancement, media influence, economic incentives, and the intrinsic human need for natural experiences.

The Unpredictability of Wildlife Sightings and Seasonality Dependance to Restrain Market Growth

The dynamics and sustainability of the wildlife tourist business are shaped by a complex interplay of constraint variables. The influence on the environment is of utmost importance since increased tourism can alter wildlife behavior, affect natural habitats, and degrade ecosystems through pollution and habitat loss. The possible spread of infectious illnesses, invasive species, and an increase in conflicts between people and wildlife present conservation difficulties. Since experiences involving captivity and human interaction can result in stress, exploitation, and a threat to the integrity of wildlife conservation efforts, ethical issues also include the need to put animal wellbeing first. Uneven distribution of the advantages of wildlife tourism can emerge from socio-cultural and economic inequalities among local communities, which may cause social unrest and insufficient funding for conservation efforts. The unpredictability of wildlife sightings can lead to seasonality and instability in visitor numbers, which could threaten the stability of local economies reliant on this market. Underscoring the significance of responsible and sustainable management practices to alleviate these constraining variables and maintain the long-term viability of wildlife tourism, these problems can also be made worse by legislative deficiencies, inadequate infrastructure, and improper planning.

Advancements in Technology to Drive Excellent Opportunities

Significant technological improvements have caused a tremendous revolution in the wildlife tourist industry. These technological advancements have not only improved the entire travel and wildlife viewing experience, but they have also been extremely important in advancing conservation efforts and sustainable lifestyle choices. The way tourists interact with wildlife has been revolutionized by augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), which provide immersive and instructive experiences that go beyond the limitations of the actual world. Travelers may now experience virtual safaris, see animals in their native habitats, and even take part in interactive educational programs thanks to AR and VR, all while reducing the ecological effect of conventional, in-person trips. Additionally, real-time access to remote and delicate habitats has been made possible by the use of cutting-edge camera technology, such as high-resolution drones and live-streaming gadgets. This enables visitors to see wildlife behaviors without disturbing their environments. The ability to monitor animal numbers, analyze migratory patterns, and anticipate potential dangers thanks to data analytics and AI-driven solutions has also given conservationists and park management teams more authority to make well-informed decisions. Technology, tourism, and conservation working together to preserve the natural world's wonders has improved the wildlife tourism experience while also advancing the tourism sector towards a more sustainable and responsible future.

Global Wildlife Tourism Market Share, by Group, 2022

The groups/friends sub-segment accounted for the highest market share in 2022. This market consists of visitors that seek immersive and socially engaging activities in wildlife habitats and natural settings. These friendship groups, distinguished by their propensity for shared adventures, greatly contribute to the market's growth by promoting a sense of camaraderie and shared memories. Their combined presence creates demand for a variety of services, including guided safaris, ecotourism excursions, eco-lodges, and activities focused on wildlife. Due to this segment's demand for shared experiences, customized packages that take into account group dynamics and preferences are developed, encouraging industry players to innovate and stand out from the competition. Additionally, because of their sociable nature, these travelers have a greater chance of spreading word of mouth recommendations and viral marketing, which can influence their peers' purchasing decisions and broaden the market. The impact of larger groups on delicate ecosystems, however, needs a balanced strategy that balances economic benefits with environmental conservation, ensuring the ongoing attraction of wildlife tourism for future generations. Responsible and sustainable practices are therefore still of the utmost importance.

Global Wildlife Tourism Market Share, by Booking Mode, 2022

The direct sub-segment accounted for the highest market share in 2022. The direct sector, which includes the essential elements of the market that directly engage with customers and assist their experiences in natural habitats and animal-rich locations, is crucial to the success of the wildlife tourism market. This section includes a variety of participants, such as tour operators, guides, lodging providers, transportation service providers, and national parks or wildlife refuges. Travelers’ interests in viewing and experiencing various flora and ecosystems are catered to by tour operators, who create and curate itineraries that emphasize on wildlife. By imparting in-depth knowledge about the local fauna, assuring tourist security, and encouraging responsible environmental involvement, guides play an important role. Wildlife aficionados have a variety of lodging alternatives, from eco-lodges to five-star resorts, available from lodging companies. Access to isolated locations is facilitated by transportation services, which frequently use specialized modes like safari cars, boats, or even aircraft. The main direct section consists of wildlife reserves and national parks, which act as conservation hubs and essential habitats while providing controlled situations for viewing animals in their native habitats. The direct segment's ability to strike a balance between tourist experiences and conservation activities will determine if it is successful in guaranteeing the sustainability of both the sector and the ecosystems it depends on.

Global Wildlife Tourism Market Share, by Region, 2022

The Asia-Pacific wildlife tourism market generated the highest revenue in 2022. The Asia-Pacific region is evolving as a vibrant center that draws tourists from all over the world looking for immersive and varied wildlife experiences. The region provides unrivalled possibilities for wildlife enthusiasts to observe and interact with a vast variety of animal species since it has a stunning assortment of ecosystems, including lush rainforests, vivid coral reefs, expansive savannas, and towering mountain ranges. Ecotourists and adventure seekers alike flock to nations like Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, and China to witness the iconic species there, including kangaroos, elephants, orangutans, tigers, and giant pandas. Additionally, the cultural diversity of the area, with its long-standing customs and indigenous knowledge, adds a distinctive dimension to wildlife tourism by establishing relationships between visitors and regional groups involved in conservation efforts. To ensure the long-term sustainability of these priceless natural resources, governments, conservation groups, and the tourism industry must work together to address challenges related to sustainability, habitat preservation, and responsible tourism practises. These issues have been exacerbated by the Asia Pacific region's rapid growth of wildlife tourism.

Competitive Scenario in the Global Wildlife Tourism Market

Investment and agreement are common strategies followed by major market players. Some of the leading wildlife tourism market players are Exodus Travels Ltd., Poseidon Expeditions, 50 Degrees North, Chinkara Journeys, Birding Ecotours, Elm Wildlife Tours, Frontiers North Adventures Inc., Rockjumper Birding Ltd., Absolute Zambia Safaris Ltd., and G Adventures.



Historical Market Estimations


Base Year for Market Estimation


Forecast Timeline for Market Projection


Geographical Scope

North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA

Segmentation by Group

  • Groups/Friends
  • Couples
  • Family
  • Solo

Segmentation by Booking Mode

  • Direct
  • Travel Agent
  • Marketplace Booking

Key Companies Profiled

  • Exodus Travels Ltd.
  • Poseidon Expeditions
  • 50 Degrees North
  • Chinkara Journeys
  • Birding Ecotours
  • Elm Wildlife Tours
  • Frontiers North Adventures Inc.
  • Rockjumper Birding Ltd.
  • Absolute Zambia Safaris Ltd.
  • G Adventures

Frequently Asked Questions

A. The size of the global wildlife tourism market was over $138.4 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $230.6 billion by 2032.

A. Exodus Travels Ltd. and Poseidon Expeditions are some of the key players in the global wildlife tourism market.

A. 50 Degrees North, Chinkara Journeys, Birding Ecotours and Elm Wildlife Tours are the companies investing more on R&D activities for developing new products and technologies.

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