SAVE Tourism Niche Market Report

Comprehensive market research study into the SAVE tourism market (Scientific, Academic, Volunteer, Educational) and how it is positioned within the broader global tourism industry.

The Brief

Acorn was commissioned to research and write this detailed specialist report for Mintel to provide the reader with a clear understanding of the SAVE tourism niche market by defining the difference between the four profiles and demonstrating how the market is evolving to create opportunities for the industry.

Our Solution

Extensive research into the SAVE tourism market was conducted and each profile was closely evaluated, consulting a range of trusted sources including industry experts, tour operators, tourism stakeholders and other experts.  

Each segment was analysed in full to understand the specific benefits of SAVE travel to both participants and destinations, and analysis of the market helped position SAVE tourism in a global context by volume and value.    

Motivations of the SAVE tourist was also researched, examining the types of learning and volunteering activities they like to do, along with destinations they choose to visit and why. 

From an industry perspective, there was extensive consultation with relevant tour operators and associations to complete a thorough understanding of the market. 


The report identified that SAVE tourism occupies a substantial niche in the tourism industry today.  It revealed the two largest segments of SAVE tourism to be Volunteering and Educational tourism, both of which have a long history within the industry.  It was found that SAVE tourism is dominated by youth travel, a group that is known for being ‘time rich, cash poor’.  With youth travel accounting for almost one quarter of international tourism arrivals today, it is a lucrative market.  

SAVE tourism is also well placed to benefit from the trend for ‘experiential travel’ that is particularly favoured by the Millennial and Generation Z consumer groups, aged 18-35, as they are keen to try new things and engaged in skills-based learning whilst travel.  Volunteering whilst on an overseas trip was revealed as the number one travel trend by online giant, for 2019.