The Global Picture
Fishing tourism is a very specialised niche market. Whilst recreational fishing ranks as one of the most popular activities in the world with 40 million fishing licences in the USA alone, sports fishing represents perhaps only 10% of all people who fish as a leisure activity. Furthermore, the number of people who travel overseas for a fishing holiday represents an even smaller percentage.
Who is a typical fishing tourist?
Characteristically, fishing tourists are middle aged males. This can be further broken down based on their fishing holiday experience as follows:
- 60% of those who take a holiday mainly to fish are over 45 years old.
- 64% of those who do a half or full day of fishing during their holiday are aged 31-60.
- Only 8% of those who take a holiday mainly to fish are under 30.
- Around 70% will travel in groups of 2-4 anglers.
Traditionally where do they come from?
- The largest global source market for fishing tourists is the United States, although the vast majority will travel to nearby destinations like the Caribbean and Central America.
- Australians and New Zealanders are avid anglers and currently represent around 70% of fishing tourism in Pacific Islands countries.
- Fishing tourists from UK/Europe and Asia are few in numbers and mostly visit Pacific Islands for specific species.
Where are new fishing tourists coming from?
- The United States and UK/Europe are potentially larger markets for Pacific Islands countries, especially in fly and species focused fishing.
- Argentina and Chile also represent new market opportunities. Fishing of all types is popular and with greater awareness and improved access there is potential for a small number of South American fishing tourists.
- Asia is presently a relative unknown fishing tourist market. In China most fishing is recreational and domestically orientated.