Tourism: Characteristics & Types

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  • 0:03 Vacation
  • 0:33 Types of Tourism
  • 2:20 Tourism…
  • 4:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
This lesson goes over something we all love: tourism. You'll learn about some of the different types of tourism as well as the characteristics that all types of tourism share.


Who doesn't love a good vacay? Some of you probably love lounging around for days on end on a beach, not doing anything. Others probably shudder at the thought of anything but a very active vacation. Maybe you like mountain climbing or perhaps museum tours. But regardless of what kind of tourist you are, most types of tourism share some basic characteristics.

This lesson goes over some of the different types of tourism, as well as some of its characteristics and impacts.

Types of Tourism

The different forms of tourism are vast and the ways in which they can be grouped are many. For instance, you can generally group tourism into two types: domestic tourism, for people traveling within their home country, or international tourism, for people who travel abroad.

You can also classify types of tourism based on places or activities. For instance, a lot of people love beach holidays. Some famous places for beach holidays include the Caribbean islands and Mediterranean coast.

But as we've already mentioned, some people can't stand lying around and doing almost nothing. They prefer types of outdoor adventure tourism. For some, it's going to and hiking around Crater Lake National Park in Oregon and seeing a true natural wonder of the world. For others, it's going to the Himalayas and climbing some of the most famous peaks in the world. Surfing in Hawaii sounds pretty good too.

Those afraid of heights or sharks may not want to go to any of those places. They may enjoy cultural and historical tourism instead. Perhaps you've always been fascinated by ancient Rome. Rome and Pompeii would be excellent places for a historical tour as both are full of amazing ruins. Or maybe you're in love with museums. If so, a visit to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, one of the most culturally rich and diverse museums in the world, may be up your alley.

And then, of course, there are subsets within each of the various types of tourism we've discussed. For instance, an outdoor adventure can encompass ecotourism, where people seek out experiences that allow them to enjoy nature in a sustainable way. Some tourists actually pay money to work at nature parks and preserves among the animals. Famous places for ecotourism include Costa Rica and the Galapagos.

Whatever rocks your boat, there's probably a type of tourism for it!

Tourism Characteristics & Impacts

Most types of tourism share some key characteristics. Some emphasize one characteristic more than another, but they all play their part in creating tourist experiences and the destinations and services that tourists enjoy. The list of these characteristics is long, so here are some important ones to keep in mind:


Tourism is not a product. You can't hold it or keep it. It's an experience. This concept influences the ways in which companies market tours and how people make their decisions about where to go. What experiences do you want to have during your vacation?

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