In a major study just released by Globus Family of Brands, data show that the potential market for international religious travel is sizable and growing.
U.S. pleasure travelers likely to take an international, faith-based vacation at some point in their lives comprise a market of 16.3 million persons. That figure is up five percent since a similar study in 2007, despite difficult economic conditions. The increase indicates that religious travel is more resilient and recession-resistant than other forms of travel.
The Globus Religious Travel Study, prepared by TravelStyles LLC, is based on a survey conducted in late 2011 of 635 potential religious travelers (those likely to take an international, faith-based vacation) and 207 who have previously taken such a trip.
Nearly one-quarter of potential religious travelers, or about four million persons, have taken a religious vacation. One-third of them say they are likely to take another faith-based vacation in the next two years.
About half of potential religious travelers would feel compelled to take a religious vacation, agreeing strongly or in some measure with the statement: “I feel a religious vacation is something I need to do to enhance my faith.” Past religious travelers are more likely to view a religious vacation as a necessity, with 54 percent agreeing in some measure with the statement and 32 percent agreeing strongly or mostly.
The majority of religious travelers are motivated by the opportunity to deepen their faith, visit spiritual destinations and explore the roots of their religion. The question on motivation: “For me, a religious/faith-based vacation is a time to….” The top four motivating factors for potential religious travelers, according to percentage:
- Deepen/enrich my personal faith, 58%
- Visit the world’s most spiritual and inspiring destinations, 57%
- Explore the historic roots of my religion, 53%
- Have fun, 45%
When it comes to cost, half of potential religious travelers agreed with the statement: “I’m more comfortable spending money on a faith-based vacation than a regular vacation.” The majority would pay $1,000 to $2,500 per person for a 10-day religious group tour that includes a guide, most meals, sightseeing, hotels and overland transportation.
The Globus Religious Travel Study also looked at popular destinations, preferred length of trip, how the trip is booked, preferred activities, and travelers’ incomes, ages and educational backgrounds.
For information on Globus religious travel vacations, visit globusfaith.com.