|Base Year Market Size
|USD 178.19 Billion
|Forecast Year Market Size
|USD 248.83 Billion
|Fastest Growing Market
The global desert tourism market was valued at USD 178.19 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 248.83 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 3.78% during the forecast period (2023–2031). The tourism industry has grown massively in the last decade. The burgeoning demand for experience and alternative tourism is a primary catalyst for expanding the desert tourism market. Moreover, the growth in the number of desert festivals worldwide attracts many tourists, creating market expansion opportunities.
Desert tourism encompasses travel and leisure activities conducted in desert areas. Deserts are dry terrains distinguished by minimal rainfall and frequently intense temperatures. It is the act of visiting arid or partially arid regions, typically for the goals of adventure, cultural exploration, or ecological study. Notwithstanding the adverse circumstances, numerous deserts throughout the globe allure tourists in search of distinctive encounters and an opportunity to investigate the innate splendor of these habitats.
Desert tourism provides distinctive opportunities such as riding camels, sandboarding, seeing stars, participating in desert safaris, and investigating old civilizations. It can also aid in preserving and advancing desert ecosystems and cultures while promoting an understanding of the difficulties and possibilities associated with inhabiting harsh regions.
The increasing desire for experience and alternative tourism is a major factor behind the growth of the desert tourism market. Experiential tourism is a form of tourism that emphasizes travel's subjective and emotional dimensions instead of the objective and material ones. Alternative tourism encompasses a form of tourism that aims to evade the adverse consequences of mass tourism, including issues like congestion, environmental deterioration, and cultural standardization. Desert tourism encompasses experiential and alternative forms of travel, offering genuine, immersive, and varied experiences that attract discerning travelers seeking unique and significant encounters.
According to a We Are Marketing study, 42% of international visitors plan to visit a place that brings back childhood memories in 2023, and 60% of travelers value experiences more than material goods. Similarly, immersive tourism is among the top nine travel trends and innovations of 2023, according to a study by StartUs Insights, because it satisfies the growing desire of tourists for meaningful experiences. Camel treks, sandboarding, stargazing, desert safaris, and explorations of ancient civilizations are just a few of the amazing and life-changing experiences that desert tourism can provide. This is expected to drive the global market.
Growth in Travel and Technology
Another significant element fueling the expansion of the desert tourism industry is the increasing ease of access and affordability of travel and technology. The combination of travel and technology has enhanced the accessibility and convenience of desert tourism by diminishing the expenses, hazards, and obstacles associated with visiting isolated and demanding locations.
The combination of travel and technology has significantly improved the standard and variety of desert tourism. This is due to the creation of innovative offerings, such as glamping, virtual reality experiences, and online platforms. Moreover, the advancement of travel and technology has greatly aided the marketing and spread of desert tourism. This is due to their ability to enhance the visibility and knowledge of desert destinations and attractions.
Negative Environmental and Social Impact
The market for desert tourism is significantly impeded by the adverse environmental and social consequences associated with tourism-related activities. Desert tourism may give rise to adverse consequences for delicate and vulnerable desert ecosystems and communities. These may include but are not limited to pollution, cultural disruption, economic inequality, and soil erosion.
In addition to worsening the consequences of climate change, including desertification, drought, and extreme weather phenomena, desert tourism may jeopardize its resilience and sustainability. Desert tourism requires careful planning, oversight, and regulation to ensure it is socially and environmentally sustainable while still giving benefits. This is anticipated to impede market growth.
Rising Number of Desert Festivals
In recent years, there has been a growth in the number of desert festivals. For instance, the 44th edition of the Jaisalmer Annual Desert Festival 2023 was held during the Hindu month of Magh (February). The event took place from February 3rd to the 5th, specifically over the three days leading up to the full moon. The event was held amidst the charming and rustic Thar Desert sands. It featured a grand display of magnificence and extravagance, highlighting the deeply rooted cultural legacy of Rajasthan that is intricately intertwined with every aspect of the city's stunning terrain.
Furthermore, in October 2019, Mongolia hosted a yearly camel festival in the western province of Govi-Altai to entice tourists, as reported by Xinhua based on information from local authorities. The camel festival, titled "The Great Desert Camel Festival," aims to attract domestic and international tourists. It also strives to preserve the camel culture for future generations and motivate herders to enhance camel breeding and boost the population of these animals. Therefore, the rising number of such festivals is anticipated to create opportunities for market expansion.
North America is a prominent region in the desert tourism industry due to its elevated levels of affluence, education, and technology, which make travel and tourism easier and more accessible. North America possesses a substantial and varied populace, resulting in a significant need for experiential and alternative tourism. North America boasts numerous captivating and renowned desert sites and landmarks, like the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and Monument Valley, annually attracting millions of visitors. Nevertheless, North America encounters various obstacles in the desert tourism industry, including the ecological and societal consequences of tourism operations, rivalry from other regions and markets, and the necessity for innovation and diversification to sustain and improve its attractiveness and competitiveness.
The Asia-Pacific area is experiencing significant growth in the desert tourism market, mostly driven by its rapid economic and social progress. This progress has led to more disposable income, mobility, and aspirations among the population. The Asia-Pacific region boasts a substantial and vibrant population, resulting in significant domestic and regional tourism opportunities. The region has numerous distinctive and captivating desert destinations and attractions, including the Silk Road, the Indus Valley, and the Gobi Desert. These locations provide a wealth of cultural and historical legacy, characterized by their diversity.
Moreover, nations like India and China are focusing on enhancing their desert tourism. For instance, tourists were prepared to descend a sand dune in a desert in Makit County in Kashgar, located northwest of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, on September 7, 2023. Makit County, situated on the southern periphery of the Taklimakan Desert, has capitalized on its inherent resources to foster tourism and generate employment opportunities for the indigenous population.
Furthermore, in December 2022, the Border Security Force (BSF) opened the BSF desert theme park in Sam sand dunes to stimulate and support border tourism. The park aims to provide tourists visiting Jaisalmer with an authentic experience of the India-Pakistan border. The border tourist project at Tanot includes an audio-visual theatre, a gift shop, and a model BOP. Tourists can witness the miniature border and observe the operational procedures of the BSF at this unique park, which spans 10 acres and is the only one of its kind in the country. An exclusive amusement park has also been constructed specifically for children. Such initiatives are anticipated to augment the desert tourism market.
The Middle East and Africa is growing significantly due to the presence of huge desert land in the region. The region houses the world's largest desert, the Sahara, in North Africa. The Sahara spans extensive regions of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan, and Tunisia. It spans an area of 9 million square kilometers (3,500,000 square miles), equivalent to 31% of Africa's total landmass.
Moreover, the government authorities in the region are increasingly focusing on promoting desert tourism. For instance, the Saudi Tourism Authority is promoting desert regions as an ideal option for a seasonal getaway as part of its "Winter is Around You" campaign. Desert camps, referred to as Kashtas, are currently in high demand and are prominently featured in the "Winter is Around You" campaign to provide respite from the fast-paced and chaotic nature of city living. Such factors drive the regional market expansion.
|Expedia Group Booking Holdings (Priceline Group) China Travel BCD Group Fareportal AAA Travel Corporate Travel Management Direct Travel Omega World Travel Frosch JTB Corporation World Travel Holdings TUI GroupAbercrombie & Kent Group
|U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
|China Korea Japan India Australia Singapore Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
|Middle East and Africa
|UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
|Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
|Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Based on type, the global desert tourism market is divided into direct-market desert tourism, experience and education desert tourism, and event and recreation desert tourism.
Event and recreation desert tourism includes recreational activities and leisure pursuits, including festivals, sports, and adventure tourism. There are numerous desert festivals held around the world. For instance, the Rann of Kutch, the largest salt desert on Earth, is a fascinating sight. Camel safaris are offered, and experiencing them on a night with a full moon is an unparalleled experience. Dhordo, the entrance to the famous white desert in Gujarat, will be the Rann Utsav venue from November 1, 2023, to February 20, 2024. Moreover, the desert safari in Dubai has been recognized as the highest-rated recreation tourism experience worldwide. Such events and recreation activities globally are boosting the segment's growth.
Based on application, the global desert tourism market is segmented into 30 years old, 30-40 years old, 40-50 years old, and above 50 years old.
These categories define the different age cohorts of tourists oriented toward desert tourism and their preferences, motivations, and behaviors. Adventurous and novel events tend to attract those under the age of 30. Travelers between the ages of 30 and 40 may prioritize wellness and relaxation. Those aged 40 to 50 may focus more on sustainability and authenticity. Travelers above 50 may have a greater inclination towards cultural and historical aspects.