There’s a revival of traveling happening and with it, different types of tourism that go beyond the traditional ‘domestic’ and ‘international.’ Going into 2022, there will likely be even more travel trends that go beyond the nearly 20 types of tourism that exist today. From dark tourism to nature tourism, there’s something for everyone with a trip tailored to each traveler’s needs.
So, how can one be sure of which type of tourism is best-suited for them? By knowing the difference between the tourism types, of course! While some are branches of main tourism types, it’s good to know which types of major tourism exist so that a traveler’s next trip can be as rewarding and memorable as possible.
Going Beyond Domestic And International Borders
Gone are the days when tourism came down to two main types: domestic and international. At one point, a traveler was either remaining within their country and engaging in domestic tourism to learn more about their own backyard. If a traveler was visiting another country, the trip automatically fell into the category of international tourism, requiring a passport and, occasionally, a visa.
However, there are many breakdowns that fall within the two, as well. To clarify, a tourism type is different from a vacation type. For example, a type of vacation can include any of the following:
- A backpacking trip
- A cruise
- A resort vacation
- An all-inclusive vacation
- A pilgrimage
- A multi-day hike or trek
- A mission
- A road trip
When it comes to the types of tourism that exist, these refer more to the theme of the trip. The type of tourism one partakes in is indicative of their interests or the goals they wish to achieve while traveling or once they arrive at their destination. Thus, it’s entirely separate from the means by which (i.e. a cruise or road trip) or type of trip (i.e. backpacking or all-inclusive).
The types of tourism that exist to date are:
- Wildlife tourism
- Wellness Tourism
- Pilgrimage and spiritual tourism
- Cultural tourism
- Dark tourism
- Culinary Tourism
- Celebrity tourism or Film Tourism
- Educational tourism
- Cruise tourism
- Rural tourism
- Space Tourism
- Outbound Tourism
- Business tourism
- Adventure tourism
- Medical tourism
- Atomic Tourism
- Beach Tourism
- Bicycle Tours
- Sports Tourism
- Industrial Tourism
- Sustainable Tourism
The two additional types of tourism are international and domestic, as mentioned before.
What Do These Tourism Types Mean?
Those interested in discovering different types of tourism should first know what each type is. For example, ‘medical’ tourism sounds a bit strange, and might not be what many think it is. Just like ‘rural’ tourism doesn’t necessarily mean that a traveler will be destined to temporarily live in the woods with minimal amenities. While it would be easy enough to dive into every single type of tourism, one should at least know about the most popular options.
Eco-, Sustainable-, or Wildlife-Tourism
As the names imply, this type of tourism relates to nature and wildlife. Eco-tourism often relates to the exploration of ecosystems or natural landscapes, whether it be via a guided tour or self-exploratory hike, or trek. Wildlife tourism is very similar but maintains a focus on the animal species in the area. Sustainable tourism involves nature in a different way and maintains an emphasis on sustainable travel by the least disruptive means possible. This also means giving back to local communities and ensuring that travel to that destination is sustained for years to come, usually be partaking in activities that help the local economy.
Dark Tourism & Atomic Tourism
These two, while similar, are quite different. Dark tourism includes a broad spectrum of destinations that could be considered somewhat unsafe, untraveled, or generally off the beaten path due to its dark or tragic history. Atomic tourism is technically a subset of dark tourism and includes any site that relates to nuclear or atomic activity, including museums on the subject.
Wellness, Medical, Spiritual, And Pilgrimage Tourism
Those who travel to expand the mind or for mental health will likely be drawn to these trips. Whether it’s a spiritual yoga retreat or a pilgrimage hike in a sacred place, there are plenty of tourism options that take one away from the hustle and bustle of a city. Medical tourism is somewhat of a subset of wellness tourism, which involves the traveler going to a new destination for some kind of treatment.
Rural And Cultural Tourism
Rural tourism may include traveling to remote places but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, it could include something such as a farm stay or even a hostel in the countryside. Cultural tourism has an emphasis on the culture of a place, such as an interest in the local people or their way of life – this can also include historical tourism vacations.
One type of tourism that’s getting plenty of attention is culinary tourism. This type of tourism, as is obviously implied by its name, relates to travel for the sake of flavor. This can include any type of food tour trip or simply a vacation planned around the culinary cuisine and history of a place.
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About The Author
Katie Machado (1999 Articles Published)
Originally from New York, Katie is used to a fast-paced lifestyle. She got her personal start with writing in the second grade, and carried that passion with her until she won a spot in her high school’s published poetry book – but not before becoming the News Editor and columnist for the high school newspaper. In college, she majored in English Literature with an emphasis in Political Science, soaking up most creativity and method from one of the last professors to study under famed beat poet Allen Ginsberg. The more she wrote, the more she learned about the world and, more importantly, herself. She has been writing professionally and has been published since the age of 19, and for nearly a decade has covered topics in entertainment, lifestyle, music news, video game reviews, food culture, and now has the privilege of writing and editing for TheTravel. Katie has a firm belief that every word penned is a journey into yourself and your own thoughts, and through understanding this, people can begin to understand each other. Through her voice, she brings personality, research, and a bit of friendly sarcasm to every piece she writes and edits.