43 Types of Tourism
John Spacey, August 19, 2020
Tourism is travel in pursuit of fun, joy or experience. This can be contrasted with travel that has a productive purpose such as a business trip. The following are common examples of tourism.
Leisure TourismTravel in pursuit of leisure activities such as reading in a hammock.
Recreation TourismRecreation activities such as ice skating on a canal.
Interest TourismInterests such as history. For example, visiting a place where significant historical events have occurred.
Nature TourismExperiences in nature such as canoeing.
Beach TourismBeaches are a particularly popular type of nature tourism that can involve recreation such as surfing and beach culture.
Sports TourismTravel to attend or participate in sporting events.
Adventure TourismPursuit of risk taking experiences such as river rafting.
Road TripsThe tradition of traveling to a destination by car, often with many stops along the way.
SailingSailing is a form of transport and adventure tourism that also represents a lifestyle.
Bicycle ToursBicycling can serve as a form of transport or recreation on a trip. This ranges from bicycling around a village to cycling across continents.
CruisesLarge ships that offer a complete vacation including lodging, entertainment, recreation and transport to destinations. This can have a very high environmental impact, particularly in terms of air pollution.
Day CruisesDay trips on various types of vessel that can include sailboats.
Music TourismTravel to attend or participate in a musical performance.
ArtsArt and performance art related tourism such as travel to visit an art museum or enjoy a night at the opera.
NightlifeNighttime activities such as clubs or karaoke.
Traditional CultureTraditional culture such as a festival that has attracted tourists to a city for decades or perhaps centuries.
Pop CulturePopular culture such as a cosplay conference.
Wellness TourismTravel that involves "wellness" services such as a spa.
Luxury TourismExperiences that are designed to be more extravagant and comfortable that average. For example, a hotel with distinctive architecture, a posh location, a full array of services and large rooms that are lavishly appointed.
Budget TourismServices designed to minimize prices for tourists. For example, a youth hostel with an attractive price for backpackers on a budget.
Family TourismServices designed for families. For example, a hotel with a playroom and other facilities for children such as a pool with a water slide.
Gap YearThe practice of taking an extended period to travel or do something completely different with your life. This is often viewed as a rite of passage for youth.
Day TripA short trip that doesn't involve an overnight stay. This is often part of a longer vacation. For example, an American visiting Kyoto who takes a day trip to Nara.
Volunteer TourismTraveling to do volunteer work.
Religious TourismTraveling to places or events of religious significance to a faith.
CampingThe practice of sleeping in minimal structures such as tents to be close to nature.
GlampingA more luxurious form of camping that may offer unusual and spacious outdoor structures and food & beverage services.
AgritourismAgritourism is any tourism that takes place on a working farm. For example, participating in the process of harvesting and roasting tea.
Culinary TourismPursuit of fine cuisine. For example, going to Italy in search of authentic dining experiences.
Shopping TourismTraveling to shop. This can be driven by differences in prices and the availability of goods.
Fashion TourismVisiting fashion related places or events such as a fashion week.
SightseeingTraveling to see famous spots of interest.
Urban HikingThe process of freely exploring a city often without much of a plan.
EntertainmentEntertainment such as theme parks or musical theatre.
Movie TourismTravel driven by interesting in films. This can include movie related museums, theme parks and travel to locations from movies.
ConferencesAttending conferences such as industry events. Although industry conferences are business events, some attract a large number of tourists. For example, auto shows that attract automobile enthusiasts.
Industrial TourismVisiting industrial sites both past and present. For example, a tour of an operational chocolate factory.
Space TourismThe ability to pay to go into orbit around the Earth. This may eventually be expanded to other destinations such as the moon. Likely to have a very high environmental footprint due to the energy required to reach orbit.
OvertourismExcessive tourism that causes economic bads to the point that it threatens the local quality of life or environment. For example, a reef that can support 20 divers a day that receives 580 divers a day.
ToursTrips that are organized and managed. This often involves being bused around in large groups to famous sightseeing spots. Tends to contribute to overtourism.
Day ToursOrganized day trips for a fee. In some cases, these are smaller groups or involve travel to spots off the beaten path.
Alternative TourismAttempts to avoid crowds and cliches in travel to find unique experiences.
EcotourismTourism that is specifically designed not to damage the environment or harm people. For example, a state that restricts the number of visitors to a popular snorkeling spot and requires visitors to watch an educational video about how to snorkel without damaging the reef. In some cases, ecotourism is a marketing term that can be viewed as greenwashing.
TourismThis is the complete list of articles we have written about tourism.
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ReferencesJ. Celic, "Air pollution from cruise ships," Proceedings ELMAR-2014, 2014, pp. 1-4.
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