We all travel and have been tourists, perhaps several times in our lives. Tourism and tourist are such common words that they are mentioned almost daily in newspapers and magazines. Despite its popularity, have you ever thought about the definition of travel and tourism? What components make up the tourism industry? Who qualifies as a tourist? Well, this article attempts to explore the words “travel”, “tourism” and “tourist” – both technically and conceptually.
What is the meaning of travel and how did it turn into a full-time industry? What are the fundamental concepts related to tourism and what are the characteristics of tourism as an industry? What are the different forms of tourism? In this article, we will explore the answers to these fundamental questions about the travel and tourism industry.
Direction of travel
The term voyage originates from the old French word “travail” which meant hard work. Travel refers to the movement of people or objects such as planes, ships, trains, and other means of transportation between various distant geographical locations. Another “etymologically for round the world as suggested by Theobald in 1994 is that it is derived from Latin, ‘tornare’ and Greek, ‘tornos’, meaning ‘a turn or circle and movement around a point central or axis’.” This meaning has changed in modern English to represent ‘turn’ and they suggest the action of movement around a circle. The argument is that a circle represents a starting point, which eventually returns to its beginning. Therefore, like a circle, a turn represents a journey in that it is a round trip, i.e. the act of going and then returning to the original starting point, and therefore one who makes such a trip can be called a tourist
What is tourism? Defining tourism
In our mind, tourism is related to holidays, vacations, pleasure, tours and travels, attractions, historical or scenic places, and getting or arriving somewhere. Tourism has been prevalent since pre-industrial times and some common examples are Nile cruises, tours by wealthy Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and the grand tour. People travel short term to other places from their normal place of residence and during these temporary visits consume goods and services like transportation, accommodation etc. and the whole process is known as the name of tourism. The tourism industry is about providing fun and enjoyable experiences. Therefore, the term “tourism” is composed of several social practices and experiences, meaning a “departure” from normal mundane life.
According to the WTO, Tourism is the movement of people away from their normal place of residence and work for a period of at least 24 hours and at most 1 year. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) definition is “the activities of persons traveling and staying in places outside their usual environment; no more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes.
walter hunzikerSwiss professor founder of the Tourism Research Institute, defines tourism as “the sum of phenomena and relationships resulting from the travel and stay of non-residents, insofar as it does not lead to permanent residence and n is linked to any remunerative activity”.
The League of Nations in 1937 recommended that tourism cover the social activity of those who travel for a period of 24 hours or more to a country other than that in which a person usually lives.
The Rome Tourism Conference in 1963, adopted the recommendation to replace the term “tourist” with the term “visitor” and defined tourism as a visit “to a country other than one’s own or in which one usually resides and works”; For the following reasons:
- Tourism – the activity of temporary visitors staying at least 24 hours for leisure, business, family, mission or reunion
- Excursion – the activity of a temporary visitor staying less than 24 hours but excluding people in transit
The limitation of the above two definitions is that they exclude domestic tourists, although they mention the same-day visitor.
The Tourist Society of Great Britain in 1976 defined tourism as “tourism is the temporary, short-term movement of people to destinations outside the places where they normally live and work and their activities during their stay in those destinations, including visits to a day and excursions”.
AIEST The oldest international association of scientific and practical experts with a special interest in tourism in 1981 stated that “tourism can be defined in terms of particular activities chosen by choice and undertaken outside the domestic environment. Tourism can whether or not involve overnight stays away from home”.
These definitions indicate that the definition of tourism has changed and expanded over time to include all types of leisure activities within its scope. We can now simply state that “tourism is travel for recreation, leisure or business”.
Below are the characteristics of tourism as they emerge from the definitions discussed above. Theses will be helpful in understanding tourism at a conceptual level.
- Tourism involves travel and stays, can also include day trips, business trips, etc.
- There is a movement of tourists from the place of origin to the destination. The tourism industry is all about tourism and all about people.
- Tourism can be international when travel is from one country to another
- Domestic tourism means travel is within the country
- Tourism is a hobby
- Tourism is also travel and services such as transport, accommodation, catering, viewing, etc.
- The trip and the stay generally take place at a site located outside the usual place of work or residence
- Tourism is short-lived
- Tourism can involve a variety of experiences. Each individual tourist may have different perceptions of the same tourism industry products/services. Tourism is always about the experience that the customer has.
- The products and services of the tourism and travel industry are perishable, ie they are consumed as soon as they are produced and cannot be stored for the future.
- Tourism is also associated with status symbol in modern society
- There can be indirect and direct recreational and health benefits from tourism
- Tourism is becoming a global phenomenon
- There are a variety of types of tourists and modes of tourist experiences
- The tourism industry includes tourists, tourism products, types of destinations, attractions and tour management
- Most tourism products are intangible because tourism is about time spent and experience gained
- Social, economic and institutional factors affect travelers’ decisions to travel to certain selected destinations that affect these decisions
- Tourism industry supply is limited and prefixed, i.e. excess capacity based on demand that cannot be created instantly, such as train platforms, hotel rooms, etc.
There has been an upward trend in tourism over the past decades. People have a wide range of budgets and tastes, and a wide variety of resorts and hotels have sprung up to accommodate them. According to reports from the World Tourism Organization, in 2010 there were 940 million international tourist arrivals, with a growth of 6.6% compared to the year 2009. According to their reports, France and the United States is the most visited country in terms of the number of international travelers. Economic growth in China triggered an influx of tourists and in 2010 China overtook Spain to become the third most visited country. The tourism industry is already the largest of all sectors in terms of global employment and is expected to grow 50% faster than other sectors. It is also a great career option and offers various avenues to pursue a fulfilling career.