GVR Report cover Heritage Tourism Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Heritage Tourism Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (Cultural, Natural, Intangible), By End-user (30 & Under, 31 To 50, 51 To 70, 71 And Above), By Booking Channel, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2022 - 2030

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68039-959-1
  • Number of Pages: 80
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Report Overview

The global heritage tourism market size was valued at USD 556.96 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.8% from 2022 to 2030. The growth is substantially driven by the initiatives taken by the governments to promote culture in the tourism industry. For instance, United Nations declared 2018 year as the European Year of Cultural Heritage, which created an excellent opportunity to develop and promote sustainable tourism with greater emphasis on culture. The growth is also driven by the increasing importance of culture in international travel. Travelers are increasingly seeking out tangible and intangible cultures while on vacation. These attractions provide distinctive material, spiritual, and intellectual information about the region. Additionally, governments across the globe are taking major initiatives to promote the regional heritage travel market and this is expected to have a profound impact on the global cultural tourism market growth.

U.S. heritage tourism market size, by type, 2020 - 2030 (USD Billion)

The COVID-19 outbreak negatively impacted the global travel and tourism industry. The heritage travel market was impacted significantly during the pandemic and key players witnessed a financial downturn. The decline in international as well as national visitors was a result of the strict adherence to the rules and regulations of lockdowns. During the forecast period, the industry is expected to perform well with a positive response from travelers. More people are planning vacations and tours to get away from the stressed life resulted due to the pandemic.

The global heritage tourism market growth is accelerated by the increasing travelers' interest in cultural travel. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, about 40% of all tourism across the world accounts for cultural and historical travel. The industry is continuously transforming, shaped by the changing lifestyle of consumers, burgeoning forms of culture, and increasing digital innovation. Moreover, the increasing trend of digitization and digital innovation in the travel and tourism sector is expected to facilitate the growth of the overall travel industry along with cultural tourism.

Virtual reality tools are expected to gain popularity and expected to further enhance the consumer experience. For instance, according to the Australian Tourism Board, one in five travelers has used virtual reality tools for choosing a holiday destination that provides a 360-degree view in the past year. Travel agents are seizing this opportunity to market their tour packages and attract new consumers. For instance, Travel World VR based in New Jersey is assisting travel agents with VR technology.

Government initiatives are also likely to help propel cultural tourism market growth during the forecast period. Such initiatives are expected to increase accessibility and consumer spending on heritage travel along with the sustainability. For instance, the Government of India inaugurated two major schemes to improve the tourism sector; the Swadesh Darshan for theme-based tourists and Prasad for the development of infrastructure including historic and heritage sites. Also, in July 2020, The Council on Library and Information Resources and Stanford Libraries announced the launch of a public platform, Digital Library of the Middle East. The library offers access to the cultural legacy of the Middle East and North Africa, which is likely to increase tourist interest in cultural travel.

In the global market, according to ERIH, virtual tours are creating a new trend. Due to the pandemic restrictions, to generate revenue and further development various heritage sites introduced virtual tours through virtual reality space. For instance, Amazon launched a virtual tour and experience platform in September 2020, called Amazon Explore. The service provided by the VR tool includes taking tours of far-off places and cultural and natural landmarks such as temples and palaces visits. Currently, this service is available in the U.S. market only. Recently in September 2021, the company introduced group experiences, with up to seven customers in a group.

Type Insights

In 2021, the cultural segment captured the largest revenue share of over 55%. This is attributable to the presence of many cultural sites and the higher preference of travelers for cultural and historic site visits. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, around 900 sites have cultural heritage titles, the highest among all. Cultural sites which include, monuments, buildings, and artifacts, have a physical presence. Such sites are considered worthy of preservation and have high popularity among cultural tourists. This is expected to make constructive addition to the growth of the cultural tourism market.

The natural segment is estimated to register a CAGR of 4.4% from 2022 to 2030. Natural heritage consists of places that are not man-made and naturally created, which represents geological and physiographical importance. These areas constitute the habitat of the plants and animal species innate to the region. According to UNESCO data, the popularity of natural cultural sites is increasing due to the abundant availability of information and is thus expected to drive segment growth. Moreover, sustainable tourist visits to UNESCO natural heritage sites are increasing to enable minimum impact on the sites due to human activity.

End-user Insights

In 2021, the 51 to 70 age group segment led with a revenue share of almost 60%. This is attributable to changing consumer preferences and increasing interest in cultural travel and tourism. Baby boomers and the elderly population are highly likely to spend and travel to cultural sites compared to the other age groups. Other age groups, mostly the younger generation spends more on leisure and adventure activities. This traveler group tends to be affluent and well-educated among all the travelers and travels for a longer duration. Additionally, this age group is expected to showcase strong growth in the near future driven by a rising inclination toward cultural travel, coupled with the willingness to spend on travel and tourism.

During the forecast period, the 31 to 50 age group segment is expected to witness strong growth. From 2022 to 2030, the segment is anticipated to register a CAGR of 4.6%. This is attributed to the increasing interest in travel and tourism among the younger generation. According to the American Bus Association, millennials are the most opportunistic consumer group for heritage travel. Around 73% of millennials show interest to visit cultural and historic places and gain authentic experiences. Also, according to the population data, over the forecast period, millennials are likely to be the dominant group. This altogether likely to drive the growth of the segment.

Booking Channel Insights

The offline booking channel accounted for the largest revenue share of around 70% in 2021. This is attributable to the higher consumer preference and consumer perception of offline channels. Baby boomers and the older generation are key travelers in the global market. This generation is most likely to book trips through travel agents and other offline channels due to easy and hassle-free services. Moreover, the long-established nature of the channel and widespread availability across the globe is expected to have a profound impact on the global market.

Global heritage tourism market share, by booking channel, 2021 (%)

The online booking channel is estimated to witness a robust CAGR of 5.0% from 2022 to 2030. The growth is attributed to the increasing penetration of smartphone usage, internet connection, and shift in the consumer profile. According to The GSMA Association, 4G accounts for 52% and 54% of all mobile connections in Southeast Asia and South Asia regions in 2021 and is expected to rise 71% and 76% by 2025. During the forecast period, digital dependency among millennials and generation Z is likely to increase, driving the growth of the online booking channel.

Regional Insights

In 2021, Asia Pacific held around 40% of the revenue share. The region is expected to register a 4.4% CAGR during the forecast period. This is attributed to the affluent cultural assets present in the region, mostly contributed by China, India, and Japan. Higher domestic, as well as international tourist arrival and longer duration of stay in the region, account for higher revenue generation and higher revenue share. China accounts for a total of 105 tangible and intangible sites one of the highest in the world, while India accounts for 58 total cultural sites.

Heritage Tourism Market Trends by Region

The Middle East and Africa are expected to witness rapid growth during the forecast period. From 2022 to 2030, the region is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.0%. Increasing government initiatives in the region to promote tourism and culture is expected to drive the growth of the segment during the forecast period. For instance, Saudi Arabia is planning to double its UNESCO heritage sites under Vision 2030. In 2017, Saudi Arabia formed a UNESCO site, Al Ula, developed by the Royal Commission for Al Ula (RCU). This is expected to drive the cultural tourist influx and drive the regional market.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market is characterized by the presence of small and major key players. It is fragmented with the presence of many small key players. Key players are mainly focusing on developing digitization for marketing and consumer satisfaction. Companies are introducing virtual reality tools for booking that enables maximum satisfaction to the consumers and help decide the destination.

  • In November 2021, MyHeritage Ltd. Partnered with Expedia Group to launch Heritage Travel Hub that help travelers plan ultimate heritage tour and explore the lands. With this partnership, the firms aim to facilitate the meaningful experience of traveling and feature-rich content that connects family history research with organizing an unforgettable, heritage-focused vacation

  • In March 2021, Certified Africa partnered with United Airlines to launch all-in-one African heritage travel packages. Through newly launched packages, the company aims to offer transportation, cultural tours, airport pickup, and drop-off, accommodation, and other services. Additionally, Certified Africa promotes preparedness and knowledge of travel needs, such as visas, vaccinations, COVID-19 precautions, and travel insurance

  • In May 2022, EF Go Ahead Tours one of the leading tour operators launched a new heritage tour package to Ghana in collaboration with the Beyond the Year of Return campaign. This tour offers a 12-day guided adventure through Ghana’s history offering travelers a chance for education and reconnection

Some prominent participants in the global heritage tourism market include:

  • ACE Cultural Tours Ltd.

  • Exodus Travels Ltd.

  • Expedia Group, Inc.

  • BCD Travel

  • TUI AG

  • ATG Travel

  • Kesari Tours Pvt. Ltd.

  • Carlson Wagonlit Travel

  • Martin Randall Travel Ltd.

  • Travel Leaders Group

Heritage Tourism Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2022

USD 570.89 billion

Revenue forecast in 2030

USD 778.07 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 3.8% from 2022 to 2030

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2017 - 2020

Forecast period

2022 - 2030

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2022 to 2030

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Type, end-user, booking channel, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; U.K.; Germany; France; Italy; Spain; China; India; Japan; South Korea; Australia; Brazil; Saudi Arabia

Key companies profiled

ACE Cultural Tours Ltd.; Exodus Travels Ltd.; Expedia Group, Inc.; BCD Travel; TUI AG; ATG Travel; Kesari Tours Pvt. Ltd.; Carlson Wagonlit Travel; Martin Randall Travel Ltd.; and Travel Leaders Group

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options


Global Heritage Tourism Market Segmentation

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global heritage tourism market report based on type, end-user, booking channel, and region:

Global Heritage Tourism Market Segmentation

  • Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Cultural Heritage

    • Natural Heritage

    • Intangible Heritage

  • End-user Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • 30 & Under

    • 31 to 50

    • 51 to 70

    • 71 and Above

  • Booking Channel Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Online

    • Offline

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • U.K.

      • Germany

      • France

      • Italy

      • Spain

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • South Korea

      • Australia

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

Frequently Asked Questions About This Report

gvr icn


gvr icn

This FREE sample includes data points, ranging from trend analyses to estimates and forecasts. See for yourself.

gvr icn


We can customize every report - free of charge - including purchasing stand-alone sections or country-level reports, as well as offer affordable discounts for start-ups & universities. Contact us now

Certified Icon

We are GDPR and CCPA compliant! Your transaction & personal information is safe and secure. For more details, please read our privacy policy.