5 New Niches to Help Grow Your Group Tour Business

The travel and tourism industry is on track to contribute 9.5 trillion (with a “T!”) to the global economy in 2023.  That’s due in large part to the group travel industry.  We typically think of group travelers as students, boomers, and sports – but there are new markets popping up every day. Let’s check out 5 new niches to help grow your group tour business!

1. Ancestry Tourism

Ancestry or “roots” tourism involves visiting a destination to which the travelers are connected by family or ancestral origin.

With an explosion of interest in swabbing ourselves to discover our genetic histories, it’s no surprise that travel is the next step.  We want to experience our heritage firsthand by walking in the footsteps of those who came before us.

Ancestry travel

Savvy tour operators are cashing in on this popular trend by planning “return to your roots” group tours to popular spots like Germany, Italy, Eastern Europe, Ireland, and Scotland.  It’s the perfect time to help travelers connect the past with the present!

Related Reading:  Heritage Travel: Connecting with Your Family’s Past

2. Adventure Travel

Living life to the fullest has been trending for a while, but a global pandemic has made adventure travel a full-blown niche market.

Adventure tourism is travel that allows you to connect with a new destination or culture in a physical way.  While it may include thrill-seeking adrenaline rushes like base jumping or deep-sea diving, it is more often about exploring new landscapes through activities like ziplining, hiking, caving, rock climbing, or rafting.

5 new niches to grow your group business Turkish cave

Think about it this way… lounging on a beach is probably NOT on an adventure traveler’s itinerary.  Instead, they want to climb to the top of Machu Picchu, hunt for glaciers in Greenland, or safari through Botswana.

The slightly less adventurous may consider a Northern Lights tour, a river cruise in Asia, or sleeping in a Turkish cave.

The point is, it’s all about those once-in-a-lifetime experiences!

Related Reading:  10 Best Cave Hotels in Cappadocia, Turkey

3. Sustainable Travel

By now you’ve almost certainly heard about the buzz surrounding sustainable travel.  If you’re unsure what it means, you’re not alone!

Traveling sustainably means accounting for the impacts of tourism on the social, environmental, and economic structure of a destination.  In simplest terms, it’s travel with the smallest footprint.

A 2022 statistic showed that 80% of global travelers believe sustainable tourism is important.  It’s useful to keep this in mind when thinking about this rapidly evolving niche market.

5 new niches to grow your group business sustainable travel

Planning sustainable group travel can be as simple as including local shopping, low carbon emissions transportation, or ‘green’ hotels on the itinerary.  Carrying a reusable water bottle and turning room lights off helps, too.

On a larger scale, offering trips to spots like Costa Rica or Finland target those 80% of travelers who value sustainability and want to immerse themselves in the experience.

Related Reading:  Sustainable Finland – A Global Leader in Sustainable Travel

4. Culinary Travel

While culinary travel isn’t necessarily a new niche, it is one that is surging in popularity.   Younger travelers are taking the lead, with nearly 9 in 10 millennials saying they’ve taken part in cuisine-focused experiences abroad.

Culinary travel focuses on food experiences.  These include tasting tours, cooking classes, wine tastings, distilleries, ale trails, etc.  Planning these kinds of group trips allows travelers to explore local cuisines and cultures far from home or in a neighboring state.

culinary travel

Culinary trips appeal to a wide range of group travelers.  Think girls’ trips, TV or film-inspired travel, or destination-based adventures.

Authentic interactions with food – whether at a Michelin-star restaurant in France or a food truck in Morocco – are in demand!

Related Reading:  Top 5 Travel Trends for 2023

5. Wellness Travel

Let’s face it.  Most travel is wellness travel.  Any chance to leave our own world behind and inhabit a new one is an escape most of us need for our well-being!

But wellness travel as a niche is a little more clearly defined as a more mindful pursuit of maintaining or enhancing our personal health.

Wellness tourism spending tipped $790 billion in 2019 and continues to grow.  That’s due, in large part, to the robust variety of wellness offerings around the globe.  Consider

Wellness travel

The wellness travel market meets a wide range of needs for all ages, making it a GREAT way to grow your group business.

Related Reading:  Refresh Your Mind, Body, and Spirits in Santa Fe

5 New Niches to Help You Grow

As a group tour planner, you know the value of a tried-and-true group trip.  But if you want to grow your group business, these 5 new niches just may help get you to the next level!


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