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Religious Tourism Market

Religious Tourism Market

Religious Tourism Market - Global Industry Assessment & Forecast

Number Of Pages # Pages:


Base Year:



May - 2024



Report Code:


Segments Covered
  • By Type By Type Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Others
  • By Age Group By Age Group Below- 20 Years, 20-30 Years, 30-40 Years, 40- 50 Years, Above 50 Years
  • By Region By Region North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East & Africa
Base YearBase Year: 2023
Forecast YearsForecast Years: 2024 - 2032
Historical YearsHistorical Years: 2018 - 2022
Revenue 2023Revenue 2023: USD 15.5 Billion
Revenue 2032Revenue 2032: USD 37.2 Billion
Revenue CAGRRevenue CAGR (2024 - 2032): 10.2%
Fastest Growing Region Fastest Growing Region (2024 - 2032) Europe
Largest Region Largest Region (2023): Middle East & Africa
Customization Offered
  • Cross-segment Market Size and Analysis for Mentioned Segments Cross-segment Market Size and Analysis for Mentioned Segments
  • Additional Company Profiles (Upto 5 With No Cost) Additional Company Profiles (Upto 5 With No Cost)
  • Additional Countries (Apart From Mentioned Countries) Additional Countries (Apart From Mentioned Countries)
  • Country/Region-specific Report Country/Region-specific Report
  • Go To Market Strategy Go To Market Strategy
  • Region Specific Market Dynamics Region Specific Market Dynamics
  • Region Level Market Share Region Level Market Share
  • Import Export Analysis Import Export Analysis
  • Production Analysis Production Analysis
  • Other Others Request Customization Speak To Analyst
Religious Tourism Market Share

The global Religious Tourism Market is valued at USD 15.5 Billion in 2023 and is projected to reach a value of USD 37.2 Billion by 2032 at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 10.2% between 2024 and 2032.

Key Highlights of Religious Tourism Market

  • Middle East & Africa led the Religious Tourism market in 2023, with 39.5% of the total market share
  • Europe is anticipated to register the fastest growth rate during the forecast period
  • In 2023, the Catholicism segment took the lead in the market, contributing 24.5% of considerable revenue share
  • Based on Age Group, the 30-40 Years segment significantly contributed to the market’s expansion in 2023, over 35.4%of the market share

Religious Tourism Market Size, 2023 To 2032 (USD Billion)

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Religious Tourism Market: Regional Overview

  • The Middle East & Africa Religious Tourism market exhibited significant dominance in 2023, with 39.5% of revenue share.
  • Several countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are prioritizing the restoration and conservation of historically and spiritually significant sites, aiming to attract a larger share of international tourists. Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, for instance, is embarking on ambitious restoration projects, such as the renovation of Al Wadi town in the Sinai Peninsula, which houses the ancient Deir El Wadi monastery dating back to the 6th century. These efforts are part of larger tourism initiatives like the Great Transfiguration Project, aimed at developing tourism infrastructure in the region, including enhanced transportation links and improved visitor facilities, to cater to both spiritual & recreational travelers.
  • Saudi Arabia is strategically promoting the Umrah pilgrimage year-round to alleviate issues of overcrowding and enhance the overall visitor experience. With the implementation of the e-visa program since mid-2022, tourists obtaining visas can now participate in the Umrah pilgrimage, contributing to a significant increase in foreign Umrah arrivals. The Saudi government's proactive approach to attracting more diverse groups of pilgrims reflects a wider trend in the diversification of pilgrimage dates and destinations.
  • The Jordan Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities is working to create a new tourist trail from Mount Nebo into the Jordan Valley, targeting sites of pilgrimage significance for Christians whilst also incorporating elements of adventure, culture & health. This initiative reflects a broader trend of destination authorities using their cultural and religious heritage to create immersive and diversified tourism experiences.

Saudi Arabia Hajj Religious Tourism Market Overview

  • In September 2022, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah unveiled Nusuk, an official digital platform aimed at simplifying and enhancing the pilgrimage planning process for visits to Makkah & Medina. The Kingdom's commitment to leverage cutting edge technology in order to optimize the Hajj experience is reflected in this initiative, which complements the vision 2030 Pilgrim Experience Program.
  • Demonstrating its dedication to providing pilgrims with unparalleled experiences, Saudi Arabia's national telecom provider, stc, embarked on a monumental project in early 2023. Installation of 92 broadcast towers within the Holy Mosque in Makkah, coupled with seven communication towers covering a vast area of 1.5 million square meters, reflects a concerted effort to bolster digital infrastructure. This comprehensive network expansion not only facilitates greater connectivity for pilgrims but also supports the seamless delivery of essential services, ensuring that worshippers can navigate their spiritual journey with ease and convenience.

Religious Tourism Market: Type Overview

  • In 2023, the Catholicism segment dominated the Global Religious Tourism market with 24.5% of revenue share.
  • The Catholic Church's global influence remains significant, as evidenced by statistics released by the Vatican in February 2022. The data showed a steady increase in the number of Catholics worldwide, reaching 1.36 billion by 2020 and representing 17.7% of the global population. Notably, regions such as Asia and Africa experienced the most rapid growth, indicating shifting demographic trends within Catholicism.
  • Despite the expanding Catholic population, there exists a notable disparity in the distribution of priests globally. Over 50% of priests are concentrated in the global North, while the majority of Catholics reside in other regions, particularly Africa. This incongruity has led to a reliance on priests from the global South to support Catholic communities in the North, reflecting complex migration patterns and the evolving dynamics of religious leadership.
  • Traditional Catholic strongholds like Europe are facing challenges such as declining church attendance and a shortage of priests. Conversely, regions like Africa and Asia have seen a surge in the number of Catholics, albeit with fewer priests per capita. Despite these disparities, both continents have experienced an increase in the clergy, highlighting shifts in the geographical distribution of religious vocations.

Key Trends

  1. Travelers seek authentic and immersive experiences that connect them with religious traditions and practices. For example, pilgrimages to holy sites like Mecca for Muslims, Vatican City for Catholics, or the Ganges River for Hindus offer profound spiritual experiences.
  2. Sustainable and responsible tourism practices in the area of religion travel are increasingly being emphasised. Initiatives in the area of eco friendly accommodation, conservation efforts and local involvement are included. An example is the Green Hajj initiative in Saudi Arabia, which promotes environmentally sustainable practices for annual pilgrimages to Mecca.
  3. Travellers are increasingly interested in understanding the beliefs & practices of different religions. Cultural exchanges and dialogue, as well as the promotion of understanding and tolerance, are facilitated by intercultural visits and experiences. One instance is Jerusalem, where visitors can see sites such as the Western Wall, Church of Holy Sepulchre and Dome of the Rock that are important to Jews, Christians or Muslims.
  4. Technology is enhancing the Religious Tourism experience with the virtual tours, augmented reality apps, and interactive exhibits. Even for remote or unreached places, these instruments offer a more detailed view of religious history and importance. The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida, utilizes multimedia attractions and immersive exhibits to recreate biblical narratives and historical settings.
  5. Some religious destinations are also becoming hubs for medical & wellness tourism, offering holistic treatments and therapies rooted in religious traditions. For instance, visitors to Rishikesh, India, can combine spiritual retreats with yoga, meditation, and Ayurvedic treatments along the banks of the Ganges River.

Religious Tourism Market - Government Initiatives

  • Tourism Promotion Schemes and Infrastructure Development: Governments worldwide, through ministries of tourism, have launched various initiatives aimed at promoting tourism, particularly focusing on religious destinations. These initiatives include schemes such as 'Swadesh Darshan', 'National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD)', and 'Assistance to Central Agencies for Tourism Infrastructure Development'. Under these schemes, significant efforts are made to develop tourism-related infrastructure, enhance connectivity, and promote sustainable tourism practices.
  • Heritage Conservation and Development Projects: Governments invest in heritage conservation and development projects to preserve cultural and religious sites, thereby enhancing their appeal to tourists. For instance, projects like the 'Development of Ayodhya' under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme focus on infrastructure development, illumination, and landscaping of religious landmarks to attract visitors and promote Religious Tourism.
  • European Union's Approach to Tourism Policy and Efforts: Within the European Union (EU), there's a significant focus on coordinating and backing tourism endeavors across member states. By implementing policies geared towards maintaining Europe's status as a premier global destination, advocating for sustainable tourism methods, and fostering collaboration among EU nations, the EU actively contributes to the expansion & advancement of the worldwide Religious Tourism sector.
  • The Pilgrim Experience Program in Saudi Arabia: Commencing in 2019, Saudi Arabia's Pilgrim Experience Program seeks to offer a transformative journey for Hajj & Umrah pilgrims. The Program ensures a smooth and culturally stimulating pilgrimage through the use of digitalization, infrastructure improvements, Cultural Immersion Campaigns and strategic planning. The program's commitment to promoting Saudi Arabia as a contemporary cultural & religious center for pilgrims is reinforced by its collaboration with Private Enterprises and ambition of growth.
  • Global Cooperation and Policy Endeavors: Entities such as the European Union and regional commissions play pivotal roles in advocating for sustainable tourism practices and fostering inter-country cooperation. Endeavors like the European agenda for tourism 2030 are geared towards boosting Europe's allure as a destination and maximizing the industry's contributions to economic growth and job opportunities.

Premium Insights

Governments are increasingly leveraging digital platforms and online learning initiatives to enhance tourist facilitation and promote professionalism among service providers. Programs such as the Pan-India Incredible India Tourist Facilitator (IITF) Certification Program aim to train and certify tourist facilitators/guides, thereby improving the overall quality of tourist experiences and generating local employment opportunities. Additionally, capacity-building schemes like the 'Capacity Building for Service Providers' (CBSP) Scheme focus on upgrading manpower to deliver superior service standards. In addition, the development of technology driven systems, such as the National Integrated Database of the Hospitality Sector (NIDHI), facilitates digitalization and promotes ease of doing business in the hospitality and tourism sector.

Report Coverage & Deliverables

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Market Dynamics

  • According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), prior to the pandemic, Travel & Tourism accounted for 10.4% of global GDP (US$ 10.3 trillion) and 10.5% of all jobs (334 million). In 2023, despite challenges, the sector contributed 9.1% to global GDP, with 27 million new jobs created, representing an increase of 23.2% from 2022.
  • In 2022, India's Religious Tourism witnessed 1439 million tourists, generating revenue of 1.34 lakh crore. The sector is projected to generate revenue of 59 billion by 2032 and create 140 million temporary & permanent jobs by 2030. The inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is expected to attract an additional 50-100 million tourists annually.
  • The European countries are well known for accommodating a wide range of Christian denominations and minorities, thus making them appealing tourist destinations in the field of religion tourism. The main source markets are Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands with a high percentage of Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox Christian populations.
  • With approximately 60% of its population identifying as Christian, Germany is a prime destination for Religious Tourism. The country's strong economy and high per capita spending on holidays position it as a lucrative market. Moreover, Germany's diversity of religion and tourist appeal is enhanced by the large number of Muslims.
  • Saudi Arabia aims to host 30 million religious tourists annually by 2030, as part of its broader goal to attract 100 million domestic and international tourists. Investments in infrastructure projects such as airport expansions and metro systems support this vision, aiming to enhance the pilgrim experience and accommodate growing tourist numbers.
  • In Mexico, the state of Jalisco ranks second behind Mexico City in terms of preferred destinations for religious tourists, attracting 11 million arrivals annually and generating $330 million in tourism earnings. Nationally, close to 40 million people participate in pilgrimages each year, contributing nearly MXN20 billion ($1.12 billion) to the economy.
  • Brazil hosts over 200 religious events annually, including the Círio de Nazaré procession attended by 2.5 million people in 2022. Religious Tourism in Brazil drew an estimated $15 billion into the economy in 2019, showcasing the country's vibrant religious heritage and cultural significance.

Competitive Landscape

  • A diverse range of players, from traditional tour operators to Internet platforms and specialized travel agencies in the field of religion tourism, have emerged in the global market.
  • Customized pilgrimage packages with special religious affiliations, preferences and demographic characteristics are becoming increasingly common in the competition landscape. To accommodate diverse religious pilgrims, companies offer personalized travel plans, accommodation options and spiritually enriching experiences.
  • Companies are increasingly integrating sustainability & sustainable tourism practices into their product offering, as they become more aware of the impact on the environment and society. The promotion of eco friendly pilgrimage routes, support for local communities and the protection of religious heritage sites are also part of this.

Recent Market Developments

Uttarakhand Launches First-Ever Helicopter Pilgrimage to Adi Kailash and Om Parvat

  • In April 2024, Uttarakhand introduces the first-ever helicopter pilgrimage, enhancing Religious Tourism to Adi Kailash and Om Parvat. The Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) marked a significant milestone by launching India's pioneering helicopter pilgrimage to Adi Kailash and Om Parvat. This groundbreaking initiative overcomes seasonal and geographical constraints, allowing a wider range of devotees to visit these revered sites for an extended duration throughout the year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Inaugurates Projects to Promote Religious Tourism

  • In March 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates projects aimed at promoting Religious Tourism. Prime Minister Modi virtually inaugurated nine projects as part of the Swadesh Darshan and Prasad Yojana initiatives from Srinagar. These projects include developmental endeavors in Gwalior and Chitrakoot under Swadesh Darshan 2.0, and in Amarkantak and the Pitambara Peeth temple Datia under the Prasad Yojana, with a total investment of Rs 118 crore 72 lakhs.

The global Religious Tourism market can be categorized as Type, Age Group, and Region.

Parameter Details
Segments Covered

By Type

  • Catholicism
  • Islam
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Confucianism
  • Others

By Age Group

  • Below- 20 Years
  • 20-30 Years
  • 30-40 Years
  • 40- 50 Years
  • Above 50 Years

By Region

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa

Regions & Countries Covered
  • North America - (U.S., Canada, Mexico)
  • Europe - (U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Rest Of Europe)
  • Asia Pacific - (China, Japan, India, South Korea, South East Asia, Rest Of Asia Pacific)
  • Latin America - (Brazil, Argentina, Rest Of Latin America)
  • Middle East & Africa - (GCC Countries, South Africa, Rest Of Middle East & Africa)
Companies Covered
  • Gil Travel Group
  • Holy Voyages
  • Bestway Tours & Safaris
  • Heritage Tours and Travels
  • Travelway Europe
  • Regina Tours
  • Brightspark Travel Inc.
  • ACE Cultural Tours Ltd.
  • Wendy Wu Tours
  • SpainTOP
  • 206 Tours Inc.
  • Kesari Tours Pvt. Ltd.
  • Indus Travels Inc.
  • Go Thailand Tours
  • N.S. Travel & Tours Co. Ltd.
  • Catholic Travel Centre
  • Vansol Travel & Tours
  • Maranatha Tours
Report Coverage Market growth drivers, restraints, opportunities, Porter’s five forces analysis, PEST analysis, value chain analysis, regulatory landscape, technology landscape, patent analysis, market attractiveness analysis by segments and North America, company market share analysis, and COVID-19 impact analysis
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Frequently Asked Question
  • The global Religious Tourism valued at USD 15.5 Billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 37.2 Billion in 2032 growing at a CAGR of 10.2%.

  • The prominent players in the market are Gil Travel Group, Holy Voyages, Bestway Tours & Safaris, Heritage Tours and Travels, Travelway Europe, Regina Tours, Brightspark Travel Inc., ACE Cultural Tours Ltd., Wendy Wu Tours, SpainTOP, 206 Tours Inc., Kesari Tours Pvt. Ltd., Indus Travels Inc., Go Thailand Tours, N.S. Travel & Tours Co. Ltd., Catholic Travel Centre, Vansol Travel & Tours, Maranatha Tours.

  • The market is project to grow at a CAGR of 10.2% between 2024 and 2032.

  • The driving factors of the Religious Tourism include

  • Middle East & Africa was the leading regional segment of the Religious Tourism in 2023.