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Definitions of Tourism and Tourists

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According to Smith (1988), an author of a specialist dictionary on tourism, the word ‘tourist’ was reportedly introduced in 1800 and the word ‘tourism’ in 1811. However, what exactly is tourism? Who are tourists? Regardless of the fact that both terms have now been part of the English language for over two centuries, there is still no universally acknowledged effective definition for either. For over many decades, researchers and practitioners have produced many precise definitions for both ‘tourist’ and ‘tourism’ but no definition of either term has become widely recognised. According to Smith (1988), he suggests that there “probably never will be a single definition of tourism” as economists, psychologists and geographers perceive certain things about tourism in their field (Smith 1988 as cited in Leiper 1995:3). However, any approach to defining tourism can be useful for the persons proposing it and for those who perceive the world in the subjective way. In this essay, academic authors such as Krapf and Hunziker (1942), Stear (2005) and McIntosh and Goeldner (1977) each define ‘tourism’ in different methodical approaches. After discussing ‘tourism’, the focus then shifts to ‘tourists’ where again, Stear (2005), Leiper (1979) and Weaver and Lawton (2006), defines ‘tourists’ and its heuristic concepts.

One of the first attempts to define tourism was that of two Swiss academics, Professors Hunziker and Krapf of Berne University. They defined tourism in a 1942 study as a complex of environmental impacts: “the sum of the phenomena and relationships arising from the travel and stay of non-residents, in so far as they do not lead to permanent residence and are not connected to any earning activity.” This definition has been acknowledged by many international associations including the International Association of Scientific Experts on Tourism (AIEST). The advantages of this definition are is acknowledgements of wide-ranging impacts; it bases a very large number of issues that is studied under the name ‘tourism’. Additionally, Krapf and Hunziker’s definition is highly intellectual as they manage to distinguish tourism from migration however; its theory is based on “travel and stay” making an assumption that this is necessary for tourism, thus preventing day tours. While the definition’s approach is reasonable, the definition is noticeably “too vague” (Leiper, 1995: 17) as it includes a huge amount of human activity that few thinking individuals would regard as coming within the scope of tourism. Because of their broad definition on tourism, prisoners, hospital patients, boarding students and soldiers at war can easily fit in the definition, thus exposing a major defect.

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Furthermore, the phrase “sum of phenomena and relationships” does not specify any ‘methodical applications of extensions’ nor does it include business travel which is highly important as it is connected with earnings (Leiper, 1979: 349).

While the Hunziker and Krapf definition excludes business travels, one economic definition by McIntosh and Goeldner (1977) recognises that tourism involves the business components entirely: “Tourism can be defined as the science, art and business of attracting and transporting visitors, accommodating them and graciously catering to their needs and wants.” This economic approach to a definition can be easily criticised. It is a supply-side definition emphasising tourism as an industry and career choice. This definition states nothing unequivocally about the tourist and the human element, which is debatably the main aspect of the subject matter. Nor does it recognise any spatial or temporal elements, which are equally significant in the tourism industry. It only contains a purposive element which is merely to gain profit from their stay through transportation, accommodation and hospitality. However, as stated by King and Hyde (1989), they suggest that ‘a tourist may spend a night away from home at the house of a friend or relative, using a private car, and engage in no commercial transaction during the visit’ (as cited in Leiper 1995:18). Therefore, defining tourism as an economic industry misses a basic point, that expenditure is not necessary even though it is generally an unlikely condition, although it is possible. Beyond these exceptions, virtually anyone making a temporary trip away from her or his usual place of residence may be considered to be engaged in tourism.

Given examples of McIntosh and Goeldner’s economic and Hunziker and Krapf’s holistic definition of tourism, Stear (2005) expands their definitions as he particularly focuses on a set of specific activities: “Tourism is travel and temporary stay involving at least one night away from the region of a person’s usual home that is undertaken with the major expectation of satisfying leisure needs that are perceived as being at places outside of, and qualitatively different to, the home region.” This definition specifies tourism as a particular set of specific activities, and it focuses attention on some of the key features of those specific activities, including the relationship between the traveller and what is commonly known as a tourist “attraction”. It distinguishes tourism from other forms of travel, such as commuting, to work or university each day, which it clealy does not resemble, as is also the case for other forms of travel such as; driving two kilometres to the beach for a three hour picnic; migration; military invasions’ nomadic food gathering; compulsory attendance at an out of town work meeting or conference; being sent to Sydney for two years by your employer in Korea to study for a Master of Management (Tourism) degree fom UTS as a condition of keeping your job; an ambulance ride to hospital; travel to a developed country for life-saving surgery that is unavailable in your home region; or a police truck ride to prison to serve a ten month sentence.



Essay about Tourism

1253 Words6 Pages

     Currently, ecotourism is rapidly becoming one of the world’s largest industries. According to the World Trade Organization, 600 million people traveled to see “environmental areas” in 2000, spending more than 500 billion U.S. dollars. This makes ecotourism one of the world’s number one earners, ahead of automotive products, chemicals, petroleum, even food .
     But, what exactly is ecotourism? Ecotourism happens to be a special branch of tourism. The Conservation International defines it best saying it is “responsible travel that promotes the conservation of nature and sustains the well being of local people .”
     There has been dramatic growth of…show more content…

     Now, that’s a lot of water, just for a golf course and if this kind of water usage continues, the tourist developers are using huge portions of our water resources that really aren’t necessary. The tourism developers are also putting additional pressures on all the other resources such as energy, food, and other raw materials. The tourist developers have a high demand on these resources to meet the demanding expectations that most traveling tourists have.
     Second, tourist developers are continuously adding all types of pollution: air, noise, solid waste and littering, releases of sewage, oil and chemicals, even architectural and visual pollution. One study estimated that a single transatlantic return flight emits almost half the CO2 emissions produced by all other sources (lighting, heating, car use, etc.) consumed by an average person yearly .
     This large amount of pollution not only has effects on the environment but it has global effects as well. Transport emissions have also been linked to acid rain, global warming and photochemical pollution . And some of these impacts are quite specific to tourist activities. For example, especially in very hot or cold countries, tour buses often leave their motors running for hours while the tourists go out for an excursion because they want to return to a comfortably

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