Helicopter tourism: a US$1.1 billion market by 2030
Despite the economic challenges faced by the world in recent years, the popularity of helicopter tourism appears to be on the rise. Industry experts predict optimistic figures for this innovative way of exploring destinations from the air in the coming years.
Market Research Future conducted a study that indicates significant growth of tourism worldwide in recent years, paving the way for the rise of helicopter tourism. The study predicts that the market will reach a value of US$1.1 billion, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.56% from 2022 to 2030.
The progress in technology has made helicopter travel more accessible to the public. While rotary-wing aircraft have traditionally been used for aerial work, rescue missions, air ambulances, or private/government transport, their use is now becoming increasingly popular in tourism.
The increasing number of companies investing in helicopter tourism is driving the demand for helicopters for aerial tours. Industry experts believe that this type of tourism offers solutions for visiting places that may be challenging for older adults or people with limited mobility, making the activity more inclusive. Some even argue that it is a more inclusive form of transportation than airplanes.
There are two primary segments within the sector. The first segment serves the needs of private clients by providing customized tours to their preferred locations and times. This option ensures that customers have a one-of-a-kind experience, as they have the opportunity to design their own tours or flights.
The second segment of the helicopter tourism sector is focused on property tours. In 2020, charter services were the leaders in this segment. A popular option is fractional ownership, where co-owners pay a monthly maintenance fee and an hourly operating fee to a specialized company.
Certain companies that provide helicopter tourism services expand their offerings beyond aerial sightseeing and provide options for exclusive lodging as well. Programs are sometimes sold as a complete package or separately depending on the requirements of the client.
Remoras to the sector
Helicopter tourism is a promising sector, however, the COVID-19 crisis and government-imposed restrictions have hindered its immediate promotion.
The report highlights that the growth of helicopter tourism will face limitations due to the ongoing restrictions and stringent visa requirements imposed by some countries, in addition to the high cost of helicopter operations. The substantial rise in fuel prices has a considerable impact on flight prices, along with the reduced demand.
Long-term regional analysis
According to the Market Research Future report, the North American region is expected to hold the largest share of the global helicopter tourism market. This is mainly due to the significant influence of travel and tourism on the economy in this region. Travel companies and operators, particularly in the United States, are the key players in shaping the future of tourism worldwide.
The report predicts that Europe will be the second largest region in the helicopter tourism industry, with countries such as Spain and Italy being major contributors. The Asia-Pacific region is also expected to experience growth due to the high demand for this service in the area.
A notable long-term trend in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America is the emergence of unmanned helicopter tourism, driven by the increasing interest in new technologies in developing nations. However, there is some uncertainty regarding its actual implementation.