Social Tourism market to reach USD 80 billion by 2032: FMI report

Europe at forefront of promotion of social tourism
/ New Delhi
Social Tourism market to reach USD 80 billion by 2032: FMI report

Social tourism is mostly organised by groups, cooperatives, and social organisations to increase travel accessibility for those with low socioeconomic status (Photo © Brian Rapsey/FMI)

A report by market research and analyst firm FMI says that the global social tourism market is set to reach USD 80 billion by the year 2032, with Europe driving the growth.
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The social tourism market worldwide, that is estimated have been USD 54.79 billion in 2022, is expected to grow to USD 80 billion by the year 2032.

According to a report by market analysis firm Future Market Insights (FMI), the social tourism market would rise at a steady 3.88 pc in terms of Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).

FMI says that participation in events, programmes and activities by various social groups that might normally be excluded due to economic or health concerns is referred to as social tourism. Social tourism is mostly organised by groups, cooperatives, and social organisations to increase travel accessibility for those with low socioeconomic status.

The major goal of social tourism is to persuade more people, particularly seniors and members of low-income groups, to travel in order to strengthen their bonds with one another and their general well-being.

FMI adds that a number of European agencies along with other parts of the world have launched numerous programmes to promote social tourism, with the primary goals being to enhance seasonality patterns, improve quality of life, and increase the number of jobs in the tourism industry for low-income families and persons with limited mobility.

As vacations and travel can offer particularly suitable opportunities for personal enrichment through the exploration of new locations, cultures, and civilisations, through physical, artistic, sporting, and leisure activities, through meeting people across generational and educational divides, and through other responsibilities assumed freely by tourists, social tourism shapes society.

FMI says that tourism is a key to economic strength and attracts a steady stream of visitors and investment, which aids in regional development, social tourism promotes economic progress as well. By balancing the growth of the tourism industry, environmental protection, and respect for the unique identities of local communities, social tourism contributes to both regional and local development. Additionally, social tourism is a partner in international development initiatives when it is managed, respects the local populations and environment, and contributes to the economic, social, and cultural aspirations of many developing nations. 

As a global non-profit organisation, the International Bureau of Social Tourism (BITS), later known as the International Social Tourism Organisation (ISTO), was founded in 1963. ISTO supports affordable and ethical travel by uniting global partners from the social, sustainable, and solidarity tourism sectors. It strives to encourage the growth of tourism for all, make vacations affordable for the largest possible number of people, and support tourist activities that benefit individuals, groups of people, and local communities.

These include community, fair, responsible, and solidarity tourism. ISTO focuses on five key themes in addition to the Montreal Declaration, which the BITS approved in 1996, namely accessibility, the environment, solidarity, ethical corporate practices, and quality of life. The Sustainable Development Goals are in keeping with these promises (SDGs) which were set by the UN in their 2030 agenda.

The report says that everyone is entitled to downtime and relaxation. To ensure that the largest number of people have access to tourism, social, cultural, physical, psychological, and economic barriers must be removed. Growth has its bounds, and in order to maintain the environment, tourist growth must take the full life cycle of resources into account. The promotion of tolerance and peace around the globe can be helped through tourism.

FMI says that therefore, it is crucial to balance the growth of the tourism industry with respect for regional populations and cultures while fostering interactions. Both the local economy and the global economy greatly benefit from tourism. Stakeholders in social tourism operate in this context, therefore they must perform competently and professionally while showing respect for the workers, local business owners, and the community.

It adds that online booking channel is the most preferred mode of booking among tourists. After the pandemic, a sudden rise in the use of the internet is seen amongst travellers regardless of their socio-economic background. As a result, travelers nowadays are looking for coincidence in every task in their day-to-day life. Which increased the use of travel websites and applications.

Domestic tourists will hold a major share in the social tourism sector as social tourism refers to tourism for people with modest incomes. While the government initiatives are also focused on people inside its boundaries.

Subsidised travel may be a possibility for many nations as they search for fresh and inventive methods to strengthen their individual economies. Tourism is greatly in demand, however, difficulties with money are a problem. A GlobalData Q1 2021 Global Consumer Survey found that 32 pc of respondents rated their financial status as very concerned. The epidemic has put a lot of people under financial and psychological strain, as seen by the 22 pc who reported feeling anxious and the 20 pc who reported feeling stressed in the same study. Therefore, a project that assists those from weaker socioeconomic origins could not only boost domestic tourism but also enhance personal growth, stability within families, and mental health. Many families are now under additional stress as a result of the pandemic.

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