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150 fascinating types of tourism you didn’t know existed

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There are many different types of tourism that make up the tourism industry and I have created the most comprehensive list of the different types of tourism on the internet especially for you. Read on to learn all about the most common through to the most unusual and fascinating types of tourism…

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Most common types of tourism

Lets start off by looking at the most common types of tourism that you are likely to come across.

Adventure tourism

Adventure tourism is one of the most exciting types of tourism. Adventure tourism is tourism which involves a degree of risk. It typically requires specialist skills or physical exertion. According to the Adventure Travel Trade Association, adventure travel includes activities involving physical activity, a cultural exchange, and a connection with nature. Some examples of adventure tourism activities include rock climbing, skydiving, white water rafting, mountain climbing, zip-lining and paragliding.

types of tourism

Alternative tourism

Alternative tourism is the umbrella term for a number of niche tourism forms, therefore it actually encompasses several different types of tourism. It is seen as the paradox of mass tourism. It typically involves travel that is seen as being personal and authentic and encourages interaction with the local environment, people and communities. Many types of tourism are classified ‘alternative’, such as; volunteer tourism, sustainable tourism, community tourism and medical tourism.

Backpacking

Backpacking is essentially the act of travelling with a backpack. It is typically associated with budget, long-term, independent travel and is common undertaken by travellers in their twenties. However, the nature of backpacking has, in recent years, changed. Whilst some tourists do fit the typically description of young, budget tourists on a gap year, there has been an emergence of older backpackers, backpacking families and wealthy backpackers (see-flashpacker).

Business tourism

Business tourism, or business travel, is one of the most important types of tourism there is, because it is so big! Business tourism is essentially a form of travel which involves undertaking business activities that are based away from home. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) defines tourists as people ‘traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes’, thus making business an important and integral sector of the tourism economy. Business tourism activities includes attending meetings, congresses, exhibitions, incentive travel and corporate hospitality.

beach beach chair blur casual

Cruise tourism

Cruise tourism refers to holidays which are entirely or partly based on a cruise ship. It enables tourists to experience a multi-centre holiday, whereby they spend time at various destinations throughout their trip. Types of cruise vary from small yachts to mega ships and can take place on the ocean, river or fjords. Cruise tourism is popular in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Arctic amongst other destinations.

Dark tourism

Dark tourism, also known as black tourism, thanatourism or grief tourism, is tourism that is associated with death or tragedy. The act of dark tourism is somewhat controversial, with some viewing it as an act of respect and others as unethical practice. Popular dark tourism attractions include Auschwitz, Chernobyl and Ground Zero. Lesser known dark tourism attractions might include cemeteries, zombie-themed events or historical museums.

Domestic tourism

Domestic tourism is one of the biggest types of tourism worldwide. Domestic tourism is the act of travelling for business or leisure within one’s home country. According to the UNWTO, a person must be away from their usual place of residence for at least one night to qualify as a domestic tourist. Popular destinations for domestic tourism include the USA, India and China.

Enclave tourism

Enclave tourism is tourism which occurs in a confined geographical space. Typically facilitated by tour operators, enclave tourism enables the tourist to have an all-inclusive experience within their holiday resort or holiday area. This will typically include food, drink and pre-organised activities and tours. Enclave tourism is one of the major types of tourism that is criticised for its lack of economic contribution to host communities and is often associated with package holidays and cruises.

Beach tourism

Beach tourism is one of the most popular types of tourism. Beach tourism is when which the physical beach landscape is a prominent element of the holiday. This will often encompass the traditional seaside and package holidays that are popular in Europe. Beach tourism can involve a range of activities and hospitality services including water sports, boating and fishing.

Honeymoon tourism

A honeymoon is the holiday taken soon after a marriage has taken place. Newly-wed couples tend to spend significantly more money on a honeymoon than on an ordinary holiday, often choosing destinations renowned for their romantic natures. Popular honeymoon destinations include the Maldives, Hawaii and Bali.

man and woman walks on dock

Inbound tourism

Inbound tourism is the act of a person travelling to a destination within which they would not usually reside. They are essentially coming ‘in’ the country. Many destinations rely heavily on inbound tourism, for example Spain, the Caribbean or the Maldives. Inbound tourism is one of the most important types of tourism.

International tourism

International tourism is the act of travellers crossing international boarders for the purpose of business or leisure. International tourism has grown considerably in recent years due to rises in disposable income and cheap airfares. International tourism is more popular in Europe, where countries are relatively close together, than it is in larger countries such as the United States of America, China or India. International tourism is one of the most important types of tourism around the world.

Marine tourism

Marine tourism is one of the types of tourism which involves the use of boats as part of a holiday experience. It includes holiday whereby the tourist resides on a boat, such as a cruise or sailing trip. It can also include holidays which feature boating events or activities, such as regattas, boat tours or deep sea fishing. Also known as nautical tourism.

Mass tourism

Mass tourism is the movement of large numbers of people who choose to undertake their leisure pursuits in a given area. Commonly associated with package tourism, mass tourism destinations tend to be associated with reduced cost or budget holidays and have extreme peaks and troughs depending on the season. Mass tourism is typically associated with negative connotations of environmental degradation, cultural erosion and overpopulation. Mass tourism is closely associated with overtourism. Mass tourism is another example of one of the types of tourism that is somewhat controversial.

Mountain tourism

Mountain tourism is tourism which takes place in a mountain region. It will typically involve mountain-oriented activities such as climbing, hiking, mountain bike riding or skiing. Popular mountain ranges that host tourism activities include the Alps, the Himalayas and the Andes.

Outbound tourism

Outbound tourism refers to the act of leaving one’s home country to visit a holiday destination abroad. Countries that are small or that do not have a variety of tourist provision tend to experience high levels of outbound tourism. Outbound tourism is also popular amongst countries that are within close proximity of desirable overseas holiday destinations. Outbound tourism is one of the biggest and most important types of tourism around the world.

Package tourism

Package tourism refers to organised holidays whereby individual components are combined and sold as a packaged product. Traditionally such holidays are organised by a tour operator and include accommodation, transport and transfers. Nowadays, however, there has been a rise in post-modern packages, which include a variety of components packaged together to suit the needs of niche tourism forms, for example a volunteer tourism package. There is also an increasing number of people opting to organise their own holidays through the use of dynamic packaging. Traditional package tourism is one of the few types of tourism that has been in decline in recent years, as consumers seek more alternative and niche experiences.

Recreational tourism

Recreational tourism is tourism whereby the ultimate aim is recreation. This broad term can be applied to most tourism forms which have leisure pursuits and enjoyment at their core. Recreational tourism covers a wide spectrum of activities, ranging from being a spectator at a sports event to taking cooking classes to hiking. Recreation is at the heart of most types of tourism!

Regional tourism

Regional tourism is the act of travelling to a particular region for business or leisure for more than one night. A region is defined by geographical area designated by a governmental organisation or tourism bureau as having common cultural or environmental characteristics.

Sex tourism

Sex tourism involves travel to a particular destination to pursue sexual services. Sex tourism is usually associated with prostitution, although the sex tourism industry also encompasses the search for ‘mail brides’, sex shows and sex slavery. Sex tourism is illegal in many countries. Popular sex tourism destinations include Amsterdam, Thailand and The Gambia. Sex tourism is one of the most controversial types of tourism.

Sports tourism

Sports tourism can be categorised into four segments. Sports event tourism is the act of attending or watching major sporting events such as the Olympics or the Football World Cup. Nostalgia sports tourism is the act of visiting attractions of particular sporting significance such as the Calgary Olympic Park. Active sports tourism is when a tourist travels for a particular physical activity such as yoga, golf or surfing. Passive sports tourism is when a tourist travels with the intentions of spectating, for example to watch a tennis match at at Wimbledon Championships or to watch a Manchester United football match. Sports tourism is one of the biggest types of tourism in the world.

Urban tourism

Urban tourism refers to the notion of undertaking tourist activities in a built up, or urban, area. Popular urban tourism activities include visiting monuments, observing architecture and making use of cultural amenities such as museums, local hospitality and entertainment. Urban tourism is the paradox of rural tourism. Urban tourism is one of the most popular types of tourism.

Visiting friends and relatives (VFR)

Visiting friends and relatives, commonly referred to as VFR, is a popular form of tourism worldwide. VFR constitutes the act of travelling to home or friends and family or to a place of mutual convenience. VFR is particularly popular in areas that have been subjected to high immigration such as Pakistan, Mexico and Poland.

Winter tourism

Winter tourism involves leisure activities that take place in cold climates. Winter tourism takes place at different times of the year, depending on where in the world it is located. Typical winter activities include skiing and snowboarding, sledging, wildlife spotting and ice fishing.

New and emerging types of tourism

There are many types of tourism that are either new or are gaining in popularity. Lets take a look at what these are.

Agritourism

Agritourism, also referred to as agricultural tourism, argotourism or farm tourism is a subset of the rural tourism industry. It focusses on agricultural operations and involves tourist activities based in or around farms. This includes activities such as wine tours, horseback riding, clay bird shooting, animal petting and historical agricultural exhibits. Agritourism is more common than many people realise and is one of the types of tourism that often goes unnoticed.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is based on the concept of hospitality, whereby tourists will stay on a couch, bed or other sleeping area in a person’s house, free of charge. Couchsurfing is more than just a means of finding accommodation; it is a hospitality and social networking service which facilitates cultural exchange worldwide. There are a range of apps that facilitate that facilitate couchsurfing.

Culinary tourism

Culinary tourism, one of the types of tourism also known as food tourism, is the act of pursuing unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences. Seen as a sub-sector of cultural tourism, it enables the tourist to try local authentic delicacies and partake in traditional food and drink activities. Such experiences are varied and can range from drinking vodka shots with your meal whilst travelling Russia to taking a cooking class in Northern Thailand.

Danger tourism

Danger tourism, also commonly referred to as extreme tourism or shock tourism, is the act of travelling to a destination to undertake extreme activities. An extension of adventure tourism, this type of travel is often considered dangerous. Extreme tourist activities include cliff BASE jumping in Norway, volcano bungee jumping in Chille and climbing Mount Hua in China.

Dental tourism

Dental tourism, also known as dental vacations or dental holidays, is the act of travelling to a destination to have dental work undertaken. It is a subset of the medical tourism industry. Tourists will typically visit destinations where the treatment is available at a lower cost than in their home country. Popular dental tourism destinations include India, Thailand, Bulgaria, Turkey and Vietnam. Dental tourism is another one of the types of tourism that has grown considerably in recent years.

Disaster tourism

Disaster tourism is the act of visiting locations that have been subjected to man-made or natural environmental disasters. It is considered a sub-sector of dark tourism. Disaster tourism destinations can be permanently popular with tourists, such as Chenobyl, or they can be popular only in the aftermath of the disaster, such as Kathmandu after the 2015 earthquake or New Orleans after the 2005 hurricane.

Doom tourism

Doom tourism, also sometimes referred to as ‘last chance tourism’, involves travelling to destinations which have been depicted as being ‘doomed’ to near extinction as a result of man-made or natural causes. Doom tourism destinations include the Maldives, which are at threat from rising sea levels, the Dead Sea, which is rapidly reducing in size and Mount Kilimanjaro, where the glaciers have reduced by more than 80% over the last century.

Flashpacking

Flashpacking is a play on the term backpacking. Flashpacking refers to travelling with a backpack for a prolonged period of time, just as is typically associated with backpacking. However a flash packer does not adhere to a budget in the way that a backpacker commonly would. Instead, they are generally regarded as wealthy or with a significant disposable income that they are willing to spend during their travels. This is one of the lesser known types of tourism.

Genealogy tourism

Geneology tourism, also known as ancestry tourism or roots tourism, is tourism which involves travel to destinations that the tourist is connected to through ancestral means. In parallel to the emergence of a number of organisations aimed at tracing a person’s family tree, this tourism form has grown in recent years. Destinations such as Scotland, The USA and Canada are popular ancestral tourism destinations given the extent of past immigration in these countries.

Glamping

Glamping is an abbreviation of the term ‘glamourous camping’. It refers rot the act of camping with additional amenities and resort-style products and services that are not associated with ordinary camping. Glamping has become popular in recent years and often includes the use of specialised equipments such as yurts or pods. Popular clamping destinations include the United Kingdom, Norway, Spain and the United States of America.

Health tourism

Health tourism, also known as medical tourism, refers to the act of travelling to another destination for the purpose of medical treatment. Motivations of medical tourists may include reduced costs for treatments or higher quality of provision. Medical tourists may seek life-saving treatments unavailable to them at home, cosmetic surgery or dental procedures amongst a range of other medical needs. Popular destinations include India, Turkey and Panama.

Insta tourism

Insta tourism is a new form of tourism that has emerged in response to the use of the social media platform Instagram. Over one billion people use Instagram every month, sharing images from all over the world with their followers. Whilst some Instagram users are sharing content predominantly with their friends and family, others are paid ‘Influencers’ with thousands of loyal followers. Users are often inspired by photographs that they are exposed to through the social network, which has seen a rise in tourism to places that have been featured in said images, particularly those that are shared by large-scale Influencers.

LGBT tourism

LGBT tourism, also sometimes referred to as gay tourism or pink tourism, is a form of tourism marketed towards those who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. It encompasses LGBT only tours, events and festivals aimed at an LGBT audience and ‘LGBT friendly’ holiday packages. Whilst remaining a niche tourism form, the notion of LGBT tourism is becoming increasingly recognised by the mass market, with operators such as Thomas Cook retailing holidays to this market segment.

Literary tourism

Literary tourism involves travelling to places connected to fictional texts or places that are associated with their authors. A form of cultural tourism, literary tourists enjoy visiting destinations that are featured in books, author’s former or current homes and author’s gravestones. Popular literary tourism destinations include Stratford Upon Avon, the home of Shakespear and Edinburgh, the home of J.K Rowling.

Medical tourism

Medical tourism, also known as health tourism, refers to the act of travelling to another destination for the purpose of medical treatment. Motivations of medical tourists may include reduced costs for treatments or higher quality of provision. Medical tourists may seek life-saving treatments unavailable to them at home, cosmetic surgery or dental procedures amongst a range of other medical needs. Popular destinations include India, Turkey and Panama.

Minimoon tourism

A minimoon is a short break taken soon after a wedding. A minimoon will typically be taken in advance of a longer holiday or honeymoon, providing couples with the opportunity to save money and to spend time planning their trip. Typically for 2-4 days, a minimoon tends to be taken close to home and is considerably less expensive than a honeymoon.

Niche tourism

Niche tourism is the opposite of mass tourism. It is tailored to meet the specific needs of consumers according to a particular niche interest. Generally small scale, niche tourism sectors are diverse and many. Most tourism types outlined in this post are niche types of tourism.

Overlanding

Overlanding is a form of tourism which involves long distance journeys with the use of off-road vehicles. It is generally associated with travelling ‘the road less travelled’ and places emphasis on the journey, rather than the destination. Overlanding is popular amongst adventurous travellers and popular overloading destinations include many parts of Africa, Australia and North America.

Overtourism

As defined by the World Tourism Organisation, overtourism is ‘the impact of tourism on a destination, or parts thereof, that excessively influences perceived quality of life of citizens and/or quality of visitor experiences in a negative way’. Overtourism is the result of growing tourist numbers in a given area. Destinations that have suffered at the hands of overtourism include Maya Bay in Thailand, Barcelona, Maccu Picchu and Mount Everest. In some cases efforts have been made to reverse or mitigate damages caused from tourism by restricting tourist numbers, raising taxes or closing attractions all together. Overtourism is one of the most criticised types of tourism around the globe.

Pilgrimage tourism

Pilgrimage tourism is a branch of religious tourism. It involves the undertaking of a pilgrimage which may be the sole purpose of a person’s trip or a part of a wider holiday experience. Popular religious pilgrimages include Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the Vatican City in Rome and the Western Wall in Israel. Pilgrimage tourism is one of the few types of tourism that focus on religion.

Rural tourism

According to the World Tourism Organisation, rural tourism is ‘a type of tourism activity in which the visitor’s experience is related to a wide range of products generally linked to nature-based activities, agriculture, rural lifestyle / culture, angling and sightseeing’. Rural tourism takes place in non-urban areas such as national parks, forests or mountain areas. Popular rural tourism activities include cycling, walking or hiking. Rural tourism is one of the few types of tourism that rebounded fast during the COVID-19 pandemic and its popularity is to to continue.

Smart tourism

Smart tourism is one of the fastest growing types of tourism. Smart tourism is defined according to the technological capabilities of a particular destination, attraction or the tourist themselves. Many destinations are now modernising to include increased use of smart technology in their operations ranging from payment methods to interactive activities. One destination that is leading the way with their smart tourism industry is China, whereby tourists can use their phones to do simple tasks such as pay for taxis, order meals, check queue times and read information on the attraction that they are visiting through a supplied QR code.

Space tourism

Space tourism is a type of tourism that involves an interest in space. Space tourism (as in trips to space) is one of the most innovative types of tourism and many wonder whether it will actually come to fruition. Space tourism can also include visiting space-focussed museums, watching rocket launches or travelling to destinations popular for stargazing. Most recently, there has been a lot of commercial attention centred around the concept of travelling to space as a tourist; this is something that several companies are working to achieve in the near future, including Virgin Galactic and SpaceX.

Special interest tourism

Special interest tourism is another one of the types of tourism that is becoming increasingly popular. Special interest tourism is the provision of tourist activities focussed on a particular interest. Most forms of special interest tourism are also niche tourism forms. A paradox to mass tourism, special interest markets cater for a wide range of pursuits from art to golf to dancing.

Vegan tourism

Vegan tourism is tourism that is designed to meet the needs of vegans. Growing in popularity, there are a number of tourism providers to have begun to emerge designed specifically to suit the needs of vegan tourists. This includes hotels, tour operators and event organisers.

Village tourism

Village tourism involves travelling to a village on an organised tour or as part of independent travel. It is often encompassed within a rural tourism holiday, given that most villages are located in rural areas. This type of tourism is popular in Asia, where many tour groups will visit local villages to learn about their cultures and traditional way of life.

Vinitourism

Vinitourism, enotourism, oenotourismn or wine tourism is tourism which centres around wine. It includes wine appreciation, wine tasting, vineyard tours and the buying and selling of wine. Popular vinitourism destinations include France, California, South Africa and Italy, which are all known for producing good standards of wine.

Virtual tourism

Virtual tourism is the act of using technology to simulate a travel destination and its features. While it is unlikely that virtual tourism will ever replace physical visits to a destination, it has been used as a powerful marketing tool. It is also used to enhance the user experience in various attractions. Virtual tourism most commonly consists of sequences of film and images although can also include 3D and sensory experiences.

Volunteer tourism

Volunteer tourism is a type of tourism whereby an individual will travel abroad to a destination that is predominantly considered ‘undeveloped’ or ‘developing’ to offer their support to those in need. According to Steven Wearing, the founder of the concept, a volunteer tourist undertakes holidays that might involve aiding or alleviating the material poverty of some groups in society, the restoration of certain environments or research into aspects of society or environment.

Sustainability-focussed types of tourism

Sustainability is key in tourism management and is a big focus now and will continue to b e in the future. As a result, there are many tourism forms that are based on sustainability principles. Lets take a look at what these are.

Accessible tourism

group of people

Accessible tourism is one of the most important types of tourism there is! This is because it is all about making the industry accessible for all. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)states that accessibility for all to tourist facilities, products, and services should be a central part of any responsible and sustainable tourism policy. This includes making efforts for tourism to be inclusive for people regardless of any physical limitations, disabilities or age.

man wearing gray blazer

Community based tourism

Community based tourism is one of the types of tourism that has grown the most in recent years. Charity tourism is a term used to describe holidays that benefit both the traveller and the destination. Community based tourism is based on the premise of collective responsibility, allowing the local community to have an active involvement in the development and management of tourism in the area. It often involves rural, poor and economically marginalised populations, where individuals are given the opportunity to raise money through work as land managers, entrepreneurs, produce and service providers and employees.

Cultural tourism

Cultural tourism is the act of travellers visiting particular destinations in order to experience and learn about a particular culture. This can include many activities such as; attending events and festivals, visiting museums and tasting the local food and drinks. Cultural tourism can also be an unintentional part of the tourism experience, whereby cultural immersion (with the local people, their language, customs, cuisine etc) is an inevitable part of a person’s holiday.

Ecotourism

Ecotourism is a form of tourism directed at preserving fragile environments and eco-systems. Ecotourism commonly occurs in threatened natural environments, where the intention is to provide conservation. Ecotourism efforts include building tourist facilities that have minimal impact on the natural environment, adopting the use of products such as compost toilets or solar-powered electricity. Ecotourism has become somewhat of a ‘buzz word’ in recent years and is closely related to the concept of sustainable tourism.

Educational tourism

Educational tourism is tourism which involves a significant amount of learning. Richie et al, the academics who coined the term, define an educational tourist as a person who is away from their home town or country overnight, where education and learning are either the main reason for their trip or where education and learning are secondary reasons but are perceived as an important way of using leisure time. Educational tourism cab involve organised learning, such as a TEFL course or gaining a diving certification. It can also involve consequential learning, where tourists are educated through their travel experiences and the activities that they choose to undertake.

Ethical tourism

Ethical tourism refers to tourism that benefits the people and the environment involved. It is closely aligned with concepts of sustainable tourism and responsible tourism and is strongly advocated by a number of pressure groups and NGOs such as Tourism Concern. Ethical tourism is one of the types of tourism that is found within a range of tourism types.

Ethnic tourism

Ethnic tourism is tourism which focusses on learning about and experiencing a particular ethnicity. Ethnic tourism is a form of cultural tourism. Ethnic tourism may involve a deep cultural experience, for example through volunteer work or staying in a homestay. It may also include a lighter cultural experience, for example by watching plays or visiting museums.

Experiential tourism

Experiential tourism is derived from the concept of experiential learning, whereby a person learns and creates meaning through their experiences. This tourism type focuses on immersion with a particular destination, its culture, people, customs and histories. Experiential learning if often associated with cultural tourism and educational tourism and is popular amongst backpackers, students and tourists looking for an authentic and deep travel experience.

Food tourism

Food tourism, also known as culinary tourism, is the act of pursuing unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences. Seen as a sub-sector of cultural tourism, it enables the tourist to try local authentic delicacies and partake in traditional food and drink activities. Such experiences are varied and can range from drinking vodka shots with your meal whilst travelling Russia to taking a cooking class in Northern Thailand.

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Geotourism

Geotourism is tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical features of a destination. Geotourism is one of the many types of tourism that adopt the principles of sustainable tourism at its core, with a focus on the synergy of the destination- it aims to bring together all of the elements of geographical character to create a fulfilling and rewarding tourism product. Examples of geo tourism may be holiday homes that are run locally and built with local products (e.g. stones) or local produce being sold to tourists.

Homestay tourism

Homestay tourism is a branch of community based tourism. A homestay is a form of lodging and hospitality, whereby a tourist will stay with in a local person’s residence. This tourism form is more than just an accommodation option; enabling the tourist to experience an authentic, rich cultural experience by being immersed in the lives of the hosts. Homestay tourism is popular with budget tourists, volunteer tourists, student exchange programmes and those looking for a cultural experience.

Nature tourism

Nature tourism is a form of responsible tourism which focuses on natural areas, environmental conservation and leisure activities that involve nature. Popular nature tourism activities include bird watching, hiking, camping and wildlife spotting. Nature tourism is one of the most popular types of tourism, especially in rural areas.

Orphanage tourism

Orphanage tourism is the act of tourists helping to assist in the running of orphanages. Tourists can volunteer their time or they can provide physical and financial resources to the orphanage. Orphanage tourism is most prominent in developing countries and there has been some recent negative publicity regarding the suitability of volunteers. Orphanage tourism is one of the more controversial types of tourism.

Philanthropic tourism

Philanthropic tourism refers to the act of doing good through tourism. Most commonly seen through large corporations, the concept of travel philanthropy has now become popular amongst individuals also. Travel philanthropy enables business or individuals to undertake or promote charitable causes that are either connected too or during their travel endeavours. Philanthropic tourism is one of the types of tourism that has been increasing in popularity in recent years.

Pro-poor tourism

Pro-poor tourism is not a sector of the tourism industry per se, rather it is an approach to the industry. Pro-poor tourism, often shortened to PPT, intends to provide net benefits to the poor. These can be economic, social or environmental benefits and can be achieved through a range of means such as taking part in charity tourism or purchasing a holiday package through a charitable operator. Pro-poor tourism is one of the types of tourism associated with sustainability.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism is one of the most important types of tourism! Responsible tourism which is undertaken in a responsible way. It has close ties with sustainable tourism and takes into consideration any environmental, social and economic impacts, minimising these where possible.

Slow tourism

Slow tourism is based on the concept of speed. It involves travelling for a prolonged period of time at a slow pace, allowing the tourist a deep, authentic and cultural experience. An alternative tourism form, slow travel is typically associated with sustainable practices, taking into consideration the impacts of travel on the environment, society and economy. Slow travel can be undertaken in any destination, but is particularly popular amongst traditional backpacking routes in destinations such as South East Asia, Central America or Australia. Slow tourism is one of the types of tourism that has been steadily growing in popularity in recent years.

Sustainable tourism

Sustainable tourism, similarly to responsible tourism, relies on the premise of taking care of the environment, society and economy. Sustainable tourism principles intend to minimise the negative impacts of tourism, whilst maximising the positive impacts. As defined in the Bruntland Report, sustainable tourism is ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. Sustainable tourism is one of the most important types of tourism, if not THE most important type of tourism that there is.

WWOOFING

WWOOFING stands for world wide opportunities on organic farms. It is a form of homestay tourism, whereby the tourist works on the farm in exchange for free board. WWOOFING has grown as an industry in recent years and is particularly popular in Australia, where many international tourists undertake agricultural work in order to extend the duration of their working holiday visa

Unusual types of tourism

There are also many different types of tourism that you probably haven’t heard of! Lets take a deeper look.

Benefit tourism

Benefit tourism is the term given to people who travel to a destination with the intentions of claiming social benefits. It is one of the most controversial types of tourism. Particularly prominent in the United Kingdom with the large number of migrants from the European Union and further afield, benefit tourism has become a hot topic in the media and in the average household. It was also a major part of the Brexit campaign.

Aid tourism

Aid tourism, also referred to as charity tourism, is a form of travel which centres around charitable activity. It can involve helping those in need directly by joining a volunteer tourism programme, for example. It can also involve booking tours and travels or providing financial donations through organisations and tour operators which promote charitable tourism, such as Tourism Concern, Barefoot or the Travel Foundation.

Ancestry tourism

Ancestry tourism, also known as genealogy tourism or roots tourism, is tourism which involves travel to destinations that the tourist is connected to through ancestral means. In parallel to the emergence of a number of organisations aimed at tracing a person’s family tree, this tourism form has grown in recent years. Destinations such as Scotland, The USA and Canada are popular ancestral tourism destinations given the extent of past immigration in these countries.

Astro tourism

A branch of space tourism, astro tourism refers to the tourism which focusses around astrology. Astro tourism includes visiting facilities related to astronomy like observatories, astrology museums or astrology tours and events.

Atomic tourism

Atomic tourism is a new form of tourism that involves visiting sites that have been subjected to atomic activity. This includes museums, bunkers and power stations. Also referred to as nuclear tourism, popular destinations include Chernobyl, Nevada test site and Hiroshima.

Cemetery Tourism

Cemetery tourism, also known as grave tourism or tombstone tourism, is the act of visiting graves for enjoyment. Another one of the types of tourism classified as dark tourism, many tourists will choose to visit the gravestones of famous people or cemeteries which are known for their unusual appearance or for the grandeur of the tombstones housed there. A taphophile, or tombstone tourist, may be undertaking a pilgrimage or looking to observe the stone and epitaphs. They may also enjoy gravestone rubbing. Popular cemeteries amongst tourists include the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires and Arlington National Cemetery in Washington.

Communism tourism

Communism tourism is a form of tourism which involves visiting sites or areas that are associated with past and present communist regimes. A subset of dark tourism, popular communism attractions includes the Killing Fields in Cambodia, the Mao Mausoleum in Beijing and the Museum of Communism in Prague.

Birth tourism

Birth tourism is another one of the types of tourism that is somewhat controversial in nature. Birth tourism is the act of travelling to another country to give birth. The intended outcome is that the child will receive citizenship of the country in which they are born. Birth tourism is typically focussed on developing countries such as the United Kingdom or the USA, as people from less developed countries travel here in the belief that they can offer their child a better quality of life here than in their home country.

Begpacking

Begpacking is a combination of both begging and backpacking. This term in the travel and tourism literature is a relatively new phenomenon and is predominantly defined as a type of traveller who travels to a less developed country with no means of financially supporting themselves. Said tourists therefore turn to begging in the hope that locals and other travellers will contribute to their travel funds.

Cold War tourism

Cold War tourism involves travelling to sites that had significance during the Cold War or which educate tourists about the Cold War. This could include attractions such as bunkers, boarder crossings, prisons or museums.

Extreme tourism

Extreme tourism, also commonly referred to as danger tourism or shock tourism, is the act of travelling to a destination to undertake extreme activities. An extension of adventure tourism, this type of travel is often considered dangerous. Extreme tourist activities include cliff BASE jumping in Norway, volcano bungee jumping in Chille and climbing Mount Hua in China.

types of tourism
This poster was created by one of my travel and tourism work experience students.

Fashion tourism

Fashion tourism is tourism which revolves around the concept of fashion. The most popular type of fashion tourism involves fashion events, such as Berlin fashion week or Pitti Immagine Uomo. Fashion tourism is also a branch of shopping tourism. In a wider sense, Insta tourism can also encompass notions of fashion tourism, particularly when influencers are working to promote particular clothing or accessories.

Fertility tourism

Fertility tourism is a branch of medical tourism, whereby a person travels to a destination for the purpose of fertility treatments. Fertility tourism most commonly occurs when treatment can be found in an alternative location to a person’s home at a cheaper price or higher quality. Fertility tourism is one of the types of tourism that has grown in popularity since the reduction of IVF treatments on the NHS and rise in private healthcare costs.

Ghetto tourism

Ghetto tourism, also known as slum tourism, is one of the several types of tourism that involves travel to impoverished areas. During their visit, tourists will typical spectate or donate their time to help people less fortunate than themselves. Ghetto tourism has been criticised by many as being an unethical practice. It is common in many parts of the world including the townships of South Africa, the favelas of Brazil and the slums of India.

photo of a man in white long sleeved top on blue and white pop up camper

Grave tourism

Grave tourism, also known as cemetery tourism or tombstone tourism, is the act of visiting graves for enjoyment. One of the types of tourism that fall under the category of dark tourism, many tourists will choose to visit the gravestones of famous people or cemeteries which are known for their unusual appearance or for the grandeur of the tombstones housed there. A taphophile, or tombstone tourist, may be undertaking a pilgrimage or looking to observe the stone and epitaphs. They may also enjoy gravestone rubbing. Popular cemeteries amongst tourists include the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires and Arlington National Cemetery in Washington.

Industrial tourism

Industrial tourism is tourism is one of the more unusual types of tourism, despite being very common! Industrial tourism is tourism which involves visiting a site of past or present industrial action. Popular industrial sites visited by tourists include the tea plantations in Sri Lanka, copper mines in Canada and the Airbus factory in France. Sites that many people may consider to be ugly and polluting are now being transformed or used as duel purpose for tourism.

Iron curtain tourism

Iron curtain tourism involves travelling to sites that had significance during the Cold War or which educate tourists about the Cold War. The ‘iron curtain’ was a term used by Winston Churchill to describe the notional barrier separating the former Soviet bloc and the West prior to the decline of communism, which followed the political events in eastern Europe in 1989. Iron curtain tourism includes visiting attractions such as bunkers, boarder crossings, prisons or museums.

Jihadi tourism

Jihadi tourism, also referred to as jihad tourism or jihadist tourism is the act of travelling to destinations to seek contact and collaboration with Jihadi groups. This form of tourism has emerged in response to the growth of Jihadi communities in Syria. There have cases reported of young girls travelling to Syria to become ‘Jihadi brides’ and of men travelling to seek terrorist training or to fight for terrorist groups.

Justice tourism

Justice tourism is the act of travelling with the intentions of improving the economic conditions of those who live in the destination. Justice tourism centres around positive cultural exchange between guest and host through one-on-one interaction, the protection of the environment, and political/historical education. Justice tourism has been heavily promoted in Palestine and Bosnia.

Libel tourism

Libel tourism is the act of travelling to a destination which has favourable libel laws. First coined by Geoffrey Robertson, to describe forum shopping for libel suits, libel tourism is usually associated with the United Kingdom, where the laws for suing a writer for alleged defamation in a foreign jurisdiction are weaker than in other destinations, such as the United States. Libel tourism is an example of one of the more controversial types of tourism.

Narco tourism

Narco tourism is a small sector of the dark tourism industry. It refers to tourists who want to visit places of significance in central and South America that are/have been of particular significance to the narcotics industry. Narco tourism has increased as a result of the American Crime drama starring Pablo Escobar which first aired on Netflix in 2015. This is one of the more unusual types of tourism.

Nuclear tourism

Nuclear tourism is a new form of tourism that involves visiting sites that have been subjected to nuclear activity. This includes museums, bunkers and power stations. Also referred to as atomic tourism, popular destinations include Chernobyl, Nevada test site and Hiroshima. As people learn more about the nuclear industry, this is one of the types of tourism that has become more popular.

Red tourism

Red tourism is an important part of the Chinese tourism industry which centres around locations with historical significance to Chinese Communism. According to the Chinese government’s records, more than 800 million red tourism trips are made on average every year. popular red tourism destinations include Yan’an, Shaoshan, Nanchang, Jinggang Mountain and Zunyi. Red tourism is one of the best examples of types of tourism that have been steadily growing in recent years.\

Reproductive tourism

Reproductive tourism, also known as fertility tourism, is one of the types of tourism that is a branch of medical tourism, whereby a person travels to a destination for the purpose of fertility treatments. Fertility tourism most commonly occurs when treatment can be found in an alternative location to a person’s home at a cheaper price or higher quality. Fertility tourism has grown in popularity since the reduction of IVF treatments on the NHS and rise in private healthcare costs.

Suicide tourism

Suicide tourism is the act of travelling to a destination to commit suicide. Also known as euthanasia tourism, there are several suicide tourism destinations which have become popular due to a lack of legalisation in this area including Mexico, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Cambodia. In these destinations it is common for a person to have an assisted suicide. Suicide tourism also extends to those choose to kill themselves in less official capacities. Hotspots include the Aokigahara Forest in Japan, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Beachy Head in England. Suicide tourism is one of the most controversial types of tourism there is.

TEFL Tourism

TEFL tourism is the act of travelling for the purposes of teaching English as a foreign language as part of a wider tourism experience. As defined in my PhD thesis a TEFL tourist can be defined as ‘a person who travels outside of their usual environment to teach English as a foreign language, whose role shifts between tourist, educator and educatee at various points in their trip’. Popular TEFL Tourism destinations include China, Thailand, Costa Rica and Mexico. TEFL tourism is one of the types of tourism that many people are unfamiliar with, but it is definitely a sizeable industry!

Tolkien tourism

Tolkien tourism is a branch of film tourism and literary tourism which focusses on the fictional stories of The Lord of the Rings. Especially prominent in New Zealand, tolkien tourism involves travelling to areas that were either featured in or are of particular significance to the films/books. Tolkien tourism is one of the lesser known types of tourism.

Other types of tourism

And lastly, lets take a look at some other types of tourism that did not fit into any of the above categories.

Animal tourism

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Animal tourism, or wildlife tourism, is tourism that is centred around observation and interaction with animals. This includes watching animals in their natural habitat, such as bird watching or going on a safari. More controversially, it includes animals which are kept in enclosures such as zoos or petting farms. Many forms of animal tourism such as swimming with dolphins or riding elephants have been heavily criticised in recent years due to growing awareness around these issues.

Celebrity tourism

Celebrity tourism is tourism whereby celebrities are the main attraction. Tourists may seek to visit a celebrity tourism destination or attraction because a celebrity is currently there or has previously been there. Many destination management organisations (DMOs) will use celebrity tourism to promote a destination or attraction. Tourists may also seek to visit places that are centred around a celebrity, even though the celebrity may have never actually been there themselves. Popular celebrity tourism destinations/activities include Hollywood, the Cannes film festival, Harry Potter studio and Madam Tussauds.

Babymoon tourism

A babymoon is a holiday that is taken shortly before the birth of a child, usually in the second trimester. A babymoon is seen as a last chance to relax and take a break before the arrival of the baby. Babymoons have become very popular over the last decade and are popular amongst those living in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States of America. Popular babymoon destinations include destinations that are not too hot and that do not have mosquito borne viruses Zika and Malaria.

Black tourism

Black tourism, also known as dark tourism or grief tourism, is tourism that is associated with death or tragedy. The act of dark tourism is somewhat controversial, with some viewing it as an act of respect and others as unethical practice. Popular dark tourism attractions include Auschwitz, Chernobyl and Ground Zero. Lesser known dark tourism attractions might include cemeteries, zombie-themed events or historical museums.

Booze tourism

Booze tourism is tourism which focusses around the act of consuming alcohol. Whilst this may encompass activities such as wine tasting or brewery tours, it is most commonly associated with booze cruise excursions. A booze cruise is a boat ride that involves significant levels of alcoholic consumption whilst onboard. It may also include stops at bars, parties and drinking games. Booze cruises are popular in 18-30 party destinations such as the Greek islands and parts of Spain such as Magaluf or Ibiza.

Charity tourism

Charity tourism, also referred to as aid tourism, is a form of travel which centres around charitable activity. It can involve helping those in need directly by joining a volunteer tourism programme, for example. It can also involve booking tours and travels or providing financial donations through organisations and tour operators which promote charitable tourism, such as Tourism Concern, Barefoot or the Travel Foundation.

Christian tourism

Christian tourism is a sub-sector of religious tourism. It is is the largest segment of the religious tourism sector, which focusses on tourism involving religious practices or pilgrimages. Christian tourism activities include visiting destinations with significance according to Christian beliefs, such as Bethlehem or Jerusalem. It can also include visits to monasteries, staying in Christian camps, undertaking fellowship vacations, missionary travel, crusades, rallies and retreats.

Conference tourism

Conference tourism is when a person travels for the purpose of taking part in a conference. Conference tourism is usually associated with business travel and constitutes part of the MICE tourism sector.

Drug tourism

Drug tourism is the act of travelling to a particular destination due to its ease of access to illegal drugs that might be difficult to obtain or unavailable at home. Popular drug tourism destinations include Amsterdam, where Cannabis is legally sold, South East Asia for recreational and party drugs and many parts of South and central America for cocaine.

Enotourism

Enotourism, oenotourism, wine tourism, or vinitourism is tourism which centres around wine. It includes wine appreciation, wine tasting, vineyard tours and the buying and selling of wine. Popular enotourism destinations include France, California, South Africa and Italy, which are all known for producing good standards of wine.

Film tourism

Film tourism, also referred to as screen tourism is a sub-sector of the cultural tourism industry. It is focussed on the concept of film-making and producing, whereby tourists seek to visit locations which are either featured in films, or where recording of film takes place. Popular film-induced tourism destinations include The Beach in Thailand, Dubrovnik and Northern Island as featured in the Game of Thrones and Petra which is famously known for its use in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Film set examples include the Harry Potter Studios in Hertfordshire, Universal Studios in California and Pinewood Studios in London.

Garden tourism

Garden tourism is the act of visiting places with gardening significance. It can include famous gardens, botanical gardens and lesser-known gardens. It can also include gardening events, such as the Chelsea Flower Show or Kew Orchid Festival a well as gardening museums.

Gay tourism

Gay tourism, also sometimes referred to as LGBT tourism or pink tourism, is a form of tourism marketed towards those who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. It encompasses LGBT only tours, events and festivals aimed at an LGBT audience and ‘LGBT friendly’ holiday packages. Whilst remaining a niche tourism form, the notion of LGBT tourism is becoming increasingly recognised by the mass market, with operators such as Thomas Cook retailing holidays to this market segment.

Genocide tourism

Genocide tourism is a sub sector of dark tourism. It is tourism which is focussed on death and killing. Popular genocide tourism locations include Cambodia, due to the Khmer Rouge regime, Vietnam, where tourists can learn about the Vietnam War and Auschwitz, a famous German concentration camp.

Grief tourism

Grief tourism, also known as black tourism, thanatourism or dark tourism, is tourism that is associated with death or tragedy. The act of dark tourism is somewhat controversial, with some viewing it as an act of respect and others as unethical practice. Popular dark tourism attractions include Auschwitz, Chernobyl and Ground Zero. Lesser known dark tourism attractions might include cemeteries, zombie-themed events or historical museums.

Halal tourism

Halal tourism is tourism which is designed according to the needs of Islam. Popular with strict Muslims, Halal tourist resorts, hotels and attractions will only serve meat that has been suitably handled, will not serve alcohol and have separate swimming and spa facilities for men and women. Halal tourism is popular in Indonesia, Turkey and Croatia and is growing in a number of destinations across the world. This is one of the few types of tourism that is designed around a particular religion.

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Hen party tourism

Hen party tourism is one of the types of tourism connected to marriage. Hen party tourism that takes place for the purpose of being involved in a hen or bachelorette party. Traditionally organised by the Maid of Honour, the event will involve at least one night away from the participant’s usual place of residence. Hen party destinations are typically areas that have a strong nightlife scene such as Las Vegas, Ibiza or London.

Historical tourism

Historical tourism involves visiting places of historical significance. Tourists generally travel to such places with the intentions of education and enjoyment. Visiting historical areas or attractions may constitute just one part of a larger tourism experience.

Holocaust tourism

Holocaust tourism is a sub-sector of the dark tourism industry. It involves travel to destinations which were subject to macabre activities involving the Jewish population during World War Two. Popular Holocaust tourism destinations include Jewish concentration camps, such as Auschwitz, Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam and a range of associated museums throughout central and Western Europe.

Jungle tourism

Jungle tourism is essentially tourism that occurs in the jungle. It can encompass a range of eco and sustainable travel forms and there are many such resorts that have opened up in recent years in the Amazon Rainforest, Rwanda, India and Costa Rica to name a few. Tourists will also often engage in adventure activities during their jungle stay. Popular activities include zip lining, jungle safaris, canoeing and canopy walks.

Kosher tourism

Kosher tourism is tourism which is designed to meet the needs of Orthodox Jews. Meals are designed according to religious requirements and accommodations are within walking distance of Jewish Synagogs.

Last-chance tourism

Last-chance tourism, better known as doom tourism, involves travelling to destinations which have been depicted as being ‘doomed’ to near extinction as a result of man-made or natural causes. Doom tourism destinations include the Maldives, which are at threat from rising sea levels, the Dead Sea, which is rapidly reducing in size and Mount Kilimanjaro, where the glaciers have reduced by more than 80% over the last century.

Lighthouse tourism

Lighthouse tourism is tourism which includes visiting lighthouses. This may be to appreciate the panoramic vistas in the area or as a result of lighthouse tourism development whereby the lighthouse may have been redeveloped to serve a range of tourism purposes such as accommodation or museums.

Linguistic tourism

Linguistic tourism is tourism which involves learning a language. This could be part of a formal course or it could be part of wider cultural experience. Popular destinations for language learning include much of Spain and South America to learn Spanish, France for French and Italy for Italian.

Nautical tourism

Nautical tourism is a form of tourism which involves the use of boats as part of a holiday experience. It includes holiday whereby the tourist resides on a boat, such as a cruise or sailing trip. It can also include holidays which feature boating events or activities, such as regattas, boat tours or deep sea fishing. Also known as marine tourism.

Nightlife Tourism

Nightlife tourism is one of the types of tourism that involves nighttime activities. Nightlife tourism usually centres around nightclubs or parties but can also include evening shows, concerts, gigs etc. Nightlife tourists are renowned for their large consumption of alcohol and drugs. Some tour operators specialise in this type of holidays, such as Thomas Cook’s 18-30 holidays. Popular nightlife destinations include Ibiza, Las Vegas and Kuta, Bali.

Oenotourism

Oenotourism, ecotourism, wine tourism, or vinitourism is tourism which centres around wine. It includes wine appreciation, wine tasting, vineyard tours and the buying and selling of wine. Popular Oenotourism destinations include France, California, South Africa and Italy, which are all known for producing good standards of wine.

Photographic tourism

Photographic tourism is the act of visiting a particular destination with the intention of capturing it on camera. This branch of special interest tourism is often associated with picturesque destinations that tourists wish to photograph for their unique appearance, unusual imagery or personal interests. The scope of photography ranges from landscapes, artworks, cultural imagery, wildlife, food and architectures. Photographic tourism is one of the most fun types of tourism to take part in and helps to capture all of those wonderful memories!

Pink tourism

Pink tourism is one of the types of tourism that is not known on a large scale. Pink tourism, also referred to as gay tourism or LGBT tourism, is a form of tourism marketed towards those who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. It encompasses LGBT only tours, events and festivals aimed at an LGBT audience and ‘LGBT friendly’ holiday packages. Whilst remaining a niche tourism form, the notion of LGBT tourism is becoming increasingly recognised by the mass market, with operators such as Thomas Cook retailing holidays to this market segment.

Pleasure tourism

Pleasure tourism refers to the sense of pleasure. It is one of the types of tourism which centres around the pursuit of happiness, satisfaction and enjoyment, which is achieved through travel and tourism-based endeavours. Pleasure tourism can encompass most types of tourism.

Pokemon-Go tourism

Pokemon-Go tourism arose in response to the release of the augmented reality game in 2016. Through a partnership with the UNWTO, Niantic (the developer) helped to promote global travel, whereby gamers would search for characters in a range of localities around the world. Whilst 2016 saw the explosion of this gaming phenomenon, its popularity has since declined, meaning that it is one of the few types of tourism to experience a significant decline in recent years.

Polar tourism

Polar tourism refers to tourism that takes place in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. It is generally focussed around the concept of preservation and sustainability. This is one of the most controversial types of tourism because visiting the area generally has a significant environmental impact.

Postmodern tourism

Postmodern tourism is one of the types of tourism which represents tourism activities and behaviours that are new or emerging as opposed to traditional. Postmodern tourism is commonly associated with emerging destinations and developing types of tourism.

Religious tourism

Religious tourism, also known as faith tourism, refers to the act of travelling for the purposes of religious pilgrimage, missionary, or interest. A branch of cultural tourism, religious tourism constituted some of the earliest tourism forms. Not all religious tourists conform to beliefs of or religious practices of the attractions/destinations that they are visiting which can cause conflict between visitors and worshippers. Popular religious tourism destinations include Israel, Mecca and Varanassi.

Romance tourism

Romance tourism is associated with holidays that facilitate the cultivation of emotional and physical relationships between tourists and members of the host community. This can be incorporated into a range of types of tourism too, such as honeymoon tourism or a babymoon. However, romance tourism is often associated with notions such as ‘Mail bride’ or ‘Thai bride’ and various degrees of sex tourism. Popular destinations for romance tourism include Thailand and The Gambia.

Roots tourism

Roots tourism, also known as genealogy tourism or ancestry tourism, is tourism which involves travel to destinations that the tourist is connected to through ancestral means. In parallel to the emergence of a number of organisations aimed at tracing a person’s family tree, this tourism form has grown in recent years. Destinations such as Scotland, The USA and Canada are popular ancestral tourism destinations given the extent of past immigration in these countries. This is one of the types of tourism that has been growing in demand in recent years.

Safari tourism

A safari is a type of wildlife expedition. Traditionally, tourists would seek to hunt wildlife, but nowadays it is centred around observation and photography. Safaris are most commonly found in Africa, although they can be found worldwide. Safari holidays are typically high priced attracting those with a moderate to high disposable income. This is one of the types of tourism that is particularly popular with wealthy travellers as trips often (although not always) come with high price tags.

Screen tourism

Screen tourism, also referred to as film tourism is a sub-sector of the cultural tourism industry. It is focussed on the concept of film-making and producing, whereby tourists seek to visit locations which are either featured in films, or where recording of film takes place. Popular film-induced tourism destinations include The Beach in Thailand, Dubrovnik and Northern Island as featured in the Game of Thrones and Petra which is famously known for its use in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Film set examples include the Harry Potter Studios in Hertfordshire, Universal Studios in California and Pinewood Studios in London. This is another example of one of the types of tourism that has been increasing in popularity in recent years.

Self-guided tourism

Self-guided tourism is tourism which os organised and facilitated by the tourist. Through their own research and the use of self-guided maps, tours and instructions, the tourist is in sole control of their travel itinerary.

Shark tourism

Shark tourism is a form of tourism which involves sharks. It tends to centre around the conservation of sharks and is often considered a form of ecotourism. Popular activities include taking boat trips to areas where sharks can be observed, either from the deck, or from inside a cage that is lowered under the water, known as shark cage diving. Shark tourism may also constitute part of a volunteer tourism project.

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Shock tourism

Shock tourism, also commonly referred to as danger tourism or extreme tourism, is the act of travelling to a destination to undertake extreme activities. An extension of adventure tourism, this type of travel is often considered dangerous. Extreme tourist activities include cliff BASE jumping in Norway, volcano bungee jumping in Chille and climbing Mount Hua in China.

Shopping tourism

Shopping tourism is the art of shopping during a person’s travels or leisure time whilst on holiday. It can range from shopping at duty-free in the airport, to visiting street markets to shopping in large shopping malls. Shopping tourism may be the sole purpose of a person’s trip or it may be just one component. In some parts of the world it may include haggling for the best price, whilst in others the prize may be awarded only to the highest bidder, for example in an auction. This is an example of one of the types of tourism that is popular in destinations with low prices or specific goods for sale, such as custom-made dresses in Hoi An or fake goods at the markets in Shanghai.

Slum tourism

Slum tourism, also known as ghetto tourism, involves travel to impoverished areas. During their visit, tourists will typical spectate or donate their time to help people less fortunate than themselves. Slum tourism has been criticised by many as being an unethical practice. It is common in many parts of the world including the townships of South Africa, the favelas of Brazil and the slums of India. Slum tourism is another one of the types of tourism that is often viewed as being controversial.

Stag party tourism

Stag party tourism is another example of one of the types of tourism associated with marriage. Stag party tourism is tourism that takes place for the purpose of being involved in a stag or bachelor party. Traditionally organised by the Best Man, the event will involve at least one night away from the participant’s usual place of residence. Stag party destinations are typically areas that have a strong nightlife scene such as Las Vegas, Ibiza or London.

Thanatourism

Thanatourism, also known as black tourism, dark tourism or grief tourism, is tourism that is associated with death or tragedy. The act of dark tourism is somewhat controversial, with some viewing it as an act of respect and others as unethical practice. Popular dark tourism attractions include Auschwitz, Chernobyl and Ground Zero. Lesser known dark tourism attractions might include cemeteries, zombie-themed events or historical museums.

Tombstone tourism

Tombstone tourism, also known as cemetery tourism or grave tourism, is the act of visiting graves for enjoyment. One of the several types of tourism that is a branch of dark tourism, many tourists will choose to visit the gravestones of famous people or cemeteries which are known for their unusual appearance or for the grandeur of the tombstones housed there. A taphophile, or tombstone tourist, may be undertaking a pilgrimage or looking to observe the stone and epitaphs. They may also enjoy gravestone rubbing. Popular cemeteries amongst tourists include the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires and Arlington National Cemetery in Washington.

Township tourism

Township tourism is a type of slum tourism in South Africa. Townships (suburban areas designated for black occupation by apartheid legislation) are visited on tours organised by local tour operators. They can also be the base for volunteer tourism projects which provide a form of pro-poor tourism to the area. Township tourism is another one of the types of tourism that is pretty controversial.

War tourism

War tourism involves travel for recreational purposes to former or current areas of war. The recent trend of visiting conflict zones has influenced the rise of several travel companies specialising in sending tourists on packaged trips to destinations such as Syria, Somalia, Iraq and Israel. Some describe this type of tourism as a form of dar, danger or extreme tourism.

Water tourism

Water tourism is tourism which involves the use of natural or man-made water areas. It is associated with leisure activities that involve water such as fishing, swimming or water sports.

Wellness tourism

Wellness tourism, a branch of health tourism, is the act of travelling for the purpose of physical or psychological wellbeing. The wellness travel sector has seen exponential growth in recent years, with a significant rise in holidays which incorporate an element of recuperation. Popular wellness tourism destinations include Iceland for spa breaks, India for Ayurveda treatments and Bali for yoga retreats.

Wildlife tourism

Animal tourism, or wildlife tourism, is tourism that is centred around observation and interaction with animals. This includes watching animals in their natural habitat, such as bird watching or going on a safari. More controversially, it includes animals which are kept in enclosures such as zoos or petting farms. Many forms of animal tourism such as swimming with dolphins or riding elephants have been heavily criticised in recent years due to growing awareness around these issues.

Wine tourism

Wine tourism, enotourism, oenotourism or vinitourism is tourism which centres around wine. It includes wine appreciation, wine tasting, vineyard tours and the buying and selling of wine. Popular wine tourism destinations include France, California, South Africa and Italy, which are all known for producing good standards of wine.

Types of tourism: To conclude

As you can see, the tourism industry is broad and diverse. There are many different forms of tourism, some have been around for decades, whereas others are only just emerging.

Whilst I have tried to make this post as comprehensive as possible, I appreciate that there may be a type of tourism that I have missed! If you enjoyed this article, I am sure you will love these too:

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