Niche Tourism - Thematic Intelligence

Niche Tourism - Thematic Intelligence


Niche tourism is now recognized across the entire industry, with many companies looking to differentiate their brand from others. Niche tourism has many similarities with the experience economy because niche tourists are constantly searching for engaging and unique experiences that match their interests. In recent years, mainstream holiday providers have identified niche tourism as a potential growth area and, subsequently, niche tourism is no longer confined to small independent companies. Many large conglomerates such as Expedia, TUI, and Booking Holdings have globalized the niche tourism industry through mergers and acquisitions and brand extensions, globalizing the sector.

This thematic research report takes an in-depth look at the theme of niche tourism and the impact it has on the travel and tourism industry. This report analyzes the players impacted by this theme alongside the contributing trends, negative destination trends, unintended opportunities, and trends that have emerged as a result of niche tourism. It then dives deep into an industry analysis, presenting several real-life case studies looking at how destinations and companies have responded to the impact of this theme on their operations. Recommendations are then offered for the travel sector, alongside a description of companies mentioned throughout.

Key Highlights

Niche tourism is now recognized across the entire industry, with many companies looking to differentiate their brand from others. Niche tourism has many similarities with the experience economy because niche tourists are constantly searching for engaging and unique experiences that match their interests.
COVID-19 has altered traveler demands, which has created an opportunity for tourism businesses to innovate and develop their product. Many people have been confined to homeworking, lockdowns, and social distancing intermittently for the past few years, creating a desire to enjoy wider, ‘greener’ spaces while engaging with others. As a result, there is a significant opportunity for niche tourism companies involved in rural and adventure tourism to grow their product.
Niche tourism has the opportunity to set any company or destination apart, providing the ability to differentiate itself in the hypercompetitive travel landscape today. There are identifiable examples across the travel and tourism supply chain where embracing a niche can increase brand awareness and aid its competitive position. Leaders in the field have identified a specific target market and can offer an alternative product to the traditional sun and beach holiday, which adequately meets the niche tourist needs.
Niche tourism can be divided into both ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ niches. What is most prevalent is that this is a complete shift away from the traditional mass tourism model where tourists simply walk into a travel agent store and book a sun and beach holiday. The four macro niches identified here are environmental, cultural, urban, and emerging niche themes. Under each macro niche, there is a list of micro-niches that function as a traveler’s inspiration today.
There are many niche tourism types including adventure tourism, dark tourism, eco-tourism, gastronomic tourism, agri-tourism and rural tourism.

Who should buy?

CEOs, Senior Executives, and Marketing Executives within travel and tourism should use this report to understand the highly important theme of Niche tourism.


  • This thematic report provides an overview of the impact niche tourism has on the travel sector and seeks to understand some of the contributory factors.
  • The key trends within this theme are split into three categories: consumer trends, enterprise trends, and industry trends.
  • Several case studies are included to analyze the multiple ways countries and companies have responded to the impact of this theme’s growth and what they are doing to grow with this theme.
Reasons to Buy
  • Understand the current niche tourism trends within the travel landscape today and how these will escalate in the near future.
  • Assess how travel and tourism companies such as tour operators, OTAs and DMOs are utilizing niche tourism to drive revenues.
  • Acknowledge the potential pitfalls of using niche tourism by understanding the social, cultural, and environmental effects on the destination.
  • Discover recommendations for businesses involved in niche tourism
  • GlobalData’s thematic research ecosystem is a single, integrated global research platform that provides an easy-to-use framework for tracking all themes across all companies in all sectors. It has a proven track record of identifying the important themes early, enabling companies to make the right investments ahead of the competition, and secure that all-important competitive advantage.
  • All across the travel and tourism supply chain, now have an opportunity to capitalize on niche tourism, and there are notable examples of this. Therefore, all should buy this report to fully understand how this theme will continue to be a key theme in the future travel landscape.

Executive Summary
Thematic Briefing
Consumer trends
Enterprise trends
Industry trends
Industry Analysis
The impact of COVID-19 on niche tourism
Holidays are becoming more varied
Online travel, social media, and AI
Case studies
Indian Ministry of Tourism - Rural tourism
G Adventures and Intrepid Travel - Sustainability
Visit Iceland - Use of social media
Black Tomato - Luxury travel
Royal Caribbean International - Experience economy
Impact of niche tourism
Social impact of niche tourism on local communities
Tourists are searching for more immersive experiences
Use VR to help travelers sample the product before buying
Target APAC tourists
Monitor consumer demands during the pandemic
Engage with travelers within marketing campaigns
M&A trends
Social media trends
Luxury travel
Adventure tourism
Value Chain
Third-party suppliers
Direct suppliers
Ancillary suppliers
Public companies
Private companies
Sector Scorecards
Travel Intermediaries sector scorecard
Who’s who
Thematic screen
Valuation screen
Risk screen
Further Reading
GlobalData reports
Our Thematic Research Methodology
About GlobalData
Contact Us
List of Tables
Table 1: Consumer trends
Table 2: Enterprise trends
Table 3: Industry trends
Table 4: Key M&A transactions associated with the niche tourism theme since January 2022
Table 5: Public companies
Table 6: Private companies
Table 7: Glossary
Table 8: GlobalData reports
List of Figures
Figure 1: Who are the leading players in the niche tourism theme and where do they sit in the value chain?
Figure 2: The shift away from the mass tourism model has led to a wealth of niche opportunities
Figure 3: Sun and beach remain the most popular holiday type, but niche tourism shows signs of growth
Figure 4: Sentiment toward online travel methods and influences
Figure 5: The niche tourism story
Figure 6: Trendline chart
Figure 7: The niche tourism value chain
Figure 8: Who does what in the niche tourism space?
Figure 9: Thematic screen
Figure 10: Valuation screen
Figure 11: Risk screen
Figure 12: Our five-step approach for generating a sector scorecard

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