Tourism has evolved from the ancient times and developed to become an activity that is not just confined to the upper, wealthy class but also to the middle-class. Travel as a leisure activity has infiltrated its way into the masses and has led to different types of tourism.
Tourism can broadly be divided into domestic, inbound and outbound where the difference between the three is located from the perspective of the tourist.
Inbound tourism is a tourist leaving one’s homeland and visiting foreign countries, while outbound tourism is tourists from a different country visiting the homeland of the above-mentioned individual. Domestic tourism is when a tourist visits places in their own country but 80km away from their place of settlement.
With tourism emerging as one of the fastest growing industries in the world, tourism in India
Hence, this gives tourists the opportunity to experience a range of tourism opportunities, ranging from cruise tourism at the coasts to adventure tourism at the mountain ranges.
India also offers types of tourism like medical tourism and wellness tourism, where in case of the later, tourists are given an opportunity to rejuvenate themselves amidst the natural beauty of the country and in case of the former, tourists travel the country when they come here for purposes of surgery or treatment.
The types of tourism in the wider context of the world are more sundry and offbeat. The top 25 types of tourism can be classified as follows:
The definition of ecotourism given by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is that it is the “environmentally responsible travel to natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature and promote conservation, have a low visitor impact and provide for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local peoples.”
Hence, ecotourism is seen as a responsible mode of travel which creates less natural waste and on the other hand endorses the protection and maintenance of endangered areas through the funds collected through the tourists.
24. Sustainable Tourism
Sustainable tourism is closely related to ecotourism in the sense that, it is also a responsible mode of travel where tourists keep in mind the economic, environmental/ecological and socio-cultural needs of their place of visit and are considerate towards being sustainable.
23. Business Tourism
This is the quintessential picture of a working man in a place away from his home. Business tourism is when an individual, visits a place for purposes of work but also combines elements of leisure to it.
Business trips to different places is a good example of business tourism. During business tourism, individuals still work and get paid, but they do so away from both their home and workplace.
22. Culinary Tourism
Many people may have a problem differentiating between ordinary tourism and culinary tourism since tasting as many local dishes as possible is a must for the tourist.
But culinary tourism refers to tourists visiting a place exclusively to taste the local food and beverages. In culinary tourism, the main purpose of the tourist is not to visit the local attractions but eat every local dish possible. Dining out every day hence is a common factor in culinary tourism.
21. Movie Tourism
This type of tourism means using places for the purpose of filming broadcast entertainment. Dizionario del Turismo Cinematografico is a concept related to movie tourism and can be defined as an “artistic costume” movement which serves the purpose of redevelopment of territorial areas thanks to the artistic interest raised from the film locations and to promote events linked to the Cinema as film anniversaries.
20. Volunteer Tourism
This type of tourism involves tourists going to underdeveloped places to aid the less fortunate and alleviate their poverty or help them in ways to further the development of the area.
This type of tourism is largely praised for its enhanced sustainable approach to travel, with tourists attempting to assimilate into local cultures, and avoiding the criticisms of exploitative and consumptive mass tourism.
It is a much classier type of niche which involves everything related to the history and art of wine and not just its excessive consumption.
It usually consists of visits to wineries, smelling and tasting wines, vineyard walks, or even taking an active part in the harvest.
18. Soccer Tourism
To be historically precise, soccer tourism has been around for a few decades but back in the 1980s, it was seen as a form “hooliganism.”
Nowadays, soccer tourism is considered one of the most profitable forms of tourism and includes individuals who travel to different cities and countries to see their favourite teams’ museums and trophies or follow their favourite soccer teams in their international matches.
17. Birth Tourism
This kind of tourism is when parents travel to places other than their homeland to give birth to their children for a variety of reasons. The reasons range from providing better healthcare for their new-born or making the new-born child a citizen of that country.
16. Pro-Poor Tourism
This type of tourism is seen to be one of the most beneficial types in aspects of development as people usually visit places solely for the purpose of uplifting poor people living in the area of interest.
This type of tourism attracts takers by small-scale projects in local communities and through attempts by Ministries of Tourism to appeal to large numbers of tourists.
15. Recession Tourism
Recession tourism is defined by low-cost and high-value experiences taking place of once-popular generic retreats.
Various tourism hotspots have seen business boom during the recession thanks to comparatively low costs of living and a slow world job market, suggesting travellers are elongating trips where their money travels further.
14. Event Tourism
Event tourism is related to both business tourism as well as sustainable tourism. This can be defined as tourism that takes place when tourists go to a particular place to attend an organised event or function taking place in that location.
Event tourism can take place when events are organised for purposes of attracting tourists to sustain the culture, economy and nature of a place and create a cultural exchange of sorts.
13. Dark Tourism
Dark tourism involves a visit to “dark” sites, such as scenes of horrific crimes, battlegrounds etc. Dark tourism origins are rooted in medieval fairs and fairgrounds.
12. Religious Tourism
Religious tourism can be defined as pilgrimage undertaken to demonstrate devotion and strengthen faith in one’s own religion.
It may seek destinations whose image encourages them to believe that they can strengthen the religious elements of their self-identity in a positive manner.
11. Disaster Tourism
Disaster tourism is when people visit areas affected by natural disasters to help the citizens living therein rebuilding their households.
It became widely known after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Some of the locals found a way to make money from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the US, with guided bus tours to neighbourhoods that were severely damaged or even totally destroyed by the calamity.
10. Garden Tourism
Garden tourism is niche tourism involving visits to botanical gardens and places around the world that are significant in the history of gardens and gardening.
In 2000 alone, the Taj Mahal and Alhambra received a combined 200,000 visitors, which is considered as a record for this kind of tourism on a global scale.
9. War Tourism
War tourism can have two subsets to it. Sometimes journalists covering war have to travel to locations where active battles are taking place. This kind of tourism is when people travel to
Other than journalists, some citizens too, who have a thirst for adventure travel to areas of active war. Another subset of war tourism is when people travel to places where battles took place at some point
8. Doom Tourism
This type of tourism involves people going to places that have the threat of perishing or being destroyed in the near future. This type of tourism is also called ‘Tourism of Doom’ or ‘Last Chance Tourism’.
Examples of the location of doom tourism, are ice caps of Mount Kilimanjaro or the melting glaciers of Patagonia. These places are at a threat of destruction due to global warming or overpopulation and hence, doom tourism is also connected to sustainable tourism and ecotourism.
7. Social Tourism
Social tourism is making tourism available to the people who could not afford to travel for their recreation or eduation. It includes youth hostels and low-priced holiday accommodation run by voluntary organizations and church, trade unions etc.
In May 1959, at the 2nd Congress of Social Tourism in Austria, the following definition was proposed by Walter Hunziker: “Social tourism is a type of tourism practiced by
6. Atomic Tourism
Atomic Tourism is a relatively new type of tourism in which visitors are hungry to learn all things about the Atomic Age. Needless to say, historical atomic age sites and Cold War nuclear zones such as Chernobyl in Ukraine are some of the most popular destinations.
5. Tolkien Tourism
It has become a growing trend over the years mainly because of the immense success of the Lord of the Rings films and books. It has diversified and expanded to such an extent that now it offers many places to visit so that every detailed curiosity of the most exacting Tolkien fan is sure to be satisfied.
4. Domestic Tourism
Domestic tourism as defined earlier is a form of tourism where tourists go to places at least 80km away from their home but within their own country.
In India, domestic tourism is an ever-growing form of tourism as people from Kashmir can visit Rajasthan or people from Kerala can visit the Himalayas.
3. LGBTQ+ Tourism
This type of tourism is aimed at people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community and takes them to places where they are not discriminated against and have the freedom of travelling without fear of bias or threat of harm.
Nowadays, there are many events and places around the world which provide a safe space for members of this community. Three most popular places are San Francisco, Berlin
2. Rural Tourism
This type of tourism takes consumers to places in rural areas where the funds collected from them supports the community residing in the area.
Rural tourism provides income and employment to communities residing in rural areas and are based on principles of sustainable tourism. In rural areas, accommodation is not lavish but small scale and facilities offered are all run by local residents and are reliant on natural resources of that area.
1. Virtual Tourism
Virtual tourism refers to virtual tours—simulations of existing locations on the other side of the world, usually composed of a sequence of videos or still images.
With the development of technology
Hence, we can conclude throughout the ages, tourism has developed from being merely a leisure activity of the rich and wealthy to go to different places, to a form of activity that stretches wider than the mere visit to locations and has now become an umbrella term for a variety of activities that can be done in places that are away from one’s home.