The travel and tourism industry is a major contributor to local economies in many countries. Prior to the pandemic, the tourism sector accounted for
10.3% of global GDP, and is on track to recover.
But what are the different forms of tourism? How is each one defined?
In this article, we’ll look at 8 of the main types of tourism and also at the classification of the UNWTO (UN’s World Tourism Organization), which divides tourism into three main categories: domestic, inbound, and outbound tourism.
Let’s dive in.
It’s usually much easier to organize than international travel, since you don’t need additional paperwork, health checks, and you can simply take a domestic flight, bus, or train ride to your destination. For example, if you live in London and go to Manchester for the weekend, this is domestic tourism.
Language barriers and culture shock are also not a factor in domestic tourism (at least not in the majority of cases), making it less stressful.
Inbound tourism is also a form of international tourism. This means that you need to prepare all necessary paperwork in advance, as well as take care of additional formalities as needed, such as vaccinations and health checks.
Outbound tourism is a form of international travel and comes with its own set of formal requirements.
Travel agents are familiar with those and might make traveling easier – but independent travelers can also venture on their own and take care of their own paperwork. Many
online travel agenciesare specialized in outbound tourism.
- Meet with business partners or prospects
- Attend an event, conference, or trade show
- Visit another office location of the same company
Online booking has
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Sometimes, business travelers are
extending their trips for leisureor are combining the two under what is now known as “Bleisure” (from business and leisure).
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Leisure tourism is simply defined as tourism during your free time, in which you relax and experience a different environment than your own.
Local tourist attractions are often a major focus of leisure tourism, although you might very well decide to chill in your resort complex and simply book a bunch of spa treatments, for example.
Food is also a major motivator for many leisure travelers: many tourists visit new destinations to taste authentic local foods. Food tourism can be considered a subset of leisure tourism.
Shopping tourism is a popular type of travel among those who want to get a hold of brands and objects that aren’t locally available, be it clothes, food, jewelry, souvenirs, electronics, or something entirely different.
Fashion tourism is a subset of shopping tourism and among the top tourist destinations for it are cities like Milan, New York, Paris, London, and more.
Because of the rich tapestry of its history, Europe is a popular destination for cultural tourism, and many European countries see a large number of tourists each year.
For those who want to travel to experience different cultures,
UNESCO’s list of world heritage sitesmight be a list worth exploring, as it regroups the most significant cultural and natural sites of the whole world.
The location of choice will depend on the sport you want to do. For example, if you’re into diving, you’ll want to look for places with well-preserved coral reefs and a good choice of diving schools, while if you’re into skiing or mountain biking, your top choice would obviously be a mountain location with ski-lifts or bicycle-friendly roads.
Teams traveling for sporting events tend to use the services of a
travel management company like TravelPerk. There’s no need to spend hours searching online for accommodation that will fit your whole sports team: let TravelPerk do the work for you. With the largest travel inventory on the market, we can arrange flights, trains, car hire and accommodation so your team can focus on winning!
On the other hand, sports tourism might also be related to traveling to see a major sporting event, such as, for example, the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup.
Typically, it’s a form of sustainable tourism where you go to remote, rural areas to experience a simpler lifestyle and a calmer, less polluted environment.
Local people might benefit from rural tourism in many different ways, while visitors might engage in different tourism activities, such as hiking, orienteering, hunting, fishing, and more.
Sustainability has been a major consideration in mountain tourism in recent years, because mountains often have fragile ecosystems that cannot tolerate a huge number of visitors or mass tourism. Itineraries follow mountain trails and visitors are often not allowed to stray off the path or camp outside designated areas.
Top urban tourist destinations in 2022include Paris, Dubai, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome, London, and New York, among others, and attract a large number of international tourists each year. In the top 100 list compiled by Euromonitor International, Europe is the most represented continent, with 40 cities out of 100.
Beyond the ones we listed, there are plenty of other types of tourism, such as medical tourism, religious tourism, wellness tourism, dark tourism, and more. Broadly speaking, however, we could consider leisure and business tourism to be among the two main categories based on travelers’ motivation.