Literature Review Chapter: Types of Tourism

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¶ … Tourism

What are the many and varied categories of tourism and travel? What specific advantage does one form of tourism have over another, and what are the most coveted venues for the business traveler, the leisure traveler, or the adventure traveler? These and other issues pertaining to tourism and travel will be reviewed and critiqued in this paper. Tourism is an enormous business, having a major impact on economies worldwide. For example, global tourism is the largest business sector in the world economy; the "Travel & Tourism" (T&T) industry provides over 230 million jobs and over 10% of the gross domestic product globally, according to www.ecotourism.org. Moreover, tourism is a principal export (foreign exchange earner) for 83% of third world countries, and the "leading export" for one third of the poorest countries on the planet (www.ecotourism.org). In addition, for the 40 poorest countries in the world, tourism is "the second most important source of foreign exchange," right after oil production, according to the ecotourism.com information provided.

Adventure Travel

According to About.com adventure travel is getting out there at some distant venue, in the natural world, and being very physically involved while participating in vigorous activities. Adventure travel can be a hike up a 14,000 mountain in Colorado (and backpacking in rather than renting a car) or it can be "floating over Africa in a hot air balloon" (About.com). Basically adventure travel is just what it sounds like, the persons traveling are active and healthy and ready to be adventuresome and engage in some exciting activity.

Karen Berger writes (www.suite101) that there are three categories to adventure travel: soft adventure; medium adventure, and "hard-core" adventure. To engage in a soft adventure tourist trip one only needs to be "reasonably fit" to be able to walk for several hours, Berger explains. And in some soft adventure venues, "even…sedentary folks" may be able to participate. The examples Berger offers include "day-hiking, cycling, or riding horses over moderate terrain."

As to medium adventure travel tours, they may involve camping out, some "strenuous hiking, learning certain skills" and being able to adapt to cold weather or high altitudes, Berger explains. An example would be a rafting trip on a strong river, sea kayaking, and learning some basic skills. As expected, hard-core adventure trips are far more demanding than the first two mentioned in this paper. Berger asserts that a "high level" of fitness is imperative for this kind of tourism, and guides that lead hard-core adventure travelers to the heights of Mr. Everest, for example -- along with equipment and provisions -- can cost up to $60,000. There is also "risk" involved in this kind of adventure travel -- risk of injury and risk that the challenged one accepted may not be achieved.

Agro tourism

Also referred to as "Agri-Tourism" this aspect of the business entails arriving at a venue that is likely to be a working farm, according to the University of Davis (http://sfp.ucdavis.edu). The traveler typically will be lodged in a facility on or near the agricultural activity, and along with harvesting and later eating the produce from the garden (or farm), the tourist might be treated to horseback riding, fishing, wildlife study (bird watching, for example), or even hunting.

UC Davis reports that some Agi-Tourism packages include educational experiences such as cooking classes, cannery tours, along with entertainment (festivals at harvest time, barn dances) and guided tours of rural and agricultural places.

Ecotourism

The site www.ecotourism.org explains that ecotourism is about uniting "conservation, communities, and sustainable travel." What that means is that when individuals partake of ecotourism (travel) they should follow some simple principles: a) minimize your impact; b) create cultural and environmental awareness "and respect"; c) make sure those involved have a "positive experience" (hosts and visitors); d) financial benefits should be based on the conservation concepts, not exploitation in any form; e) local people should be empowered based on the ecotourism activities and impacts; and f) the activity should "raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental and social climate" (www.ecotourism.org).

Some examples of what ecotourism means is a worthy addition to this research. The New York Times features a well-written series of stories on ecotourism destinations, including a trip to the Galapagos (Blake, 2010). In this article the author is being propelled in an inflatable dinghy (with Ernesto, the guide) as she and her companions search for the Floreana mockingbird, a species that "…inspired Darwin's thinking on the origin of species" (Blake, p. 1). Thanks to her guide's bird call, the group did indeed spot a Floreana mockingbird, just one of "…many thrilling encounters on a week of nature scouting" in the Galapagos, which is a chain of 19 islands (of volcanic origin) off the coast of Ecuador about 600 miles, Blake explained.

The most famous visitor to these islands of course was Charles Darwin, who arrived in 1835, but subsequent to that, Blake writes, over the past 20 years, more than 150,000 visitors arrive at the Galapagos for ecotourism adventure. The group that Blake arrived with was ferried to the outer islands in the chain on a 24-cabin catamaran, and among the most interesting sights to see -- for any ecotourism group -- are the giant tortoises.

Another popular ecotourism destination is Belize, according to New York Times' writer Stephen Regenold. He describes a canoe trip down the Macal River in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve in Belize. "…Mountains ascend thousands of feet into the tropical air" and more than 500 species of birds live or migrate through Belize, Regenold explains. On one morning's walk with guide Carlos Quiterio Regenold identified "30 species" including the scarlet macaw, "an intelligent bird that mates for life" and has a life expectancy of 75 years. Later that morning they lunched on an open air deck at the Black Rock Lodge and saw several rare species of birds including a "great black hawk" and a "bat falcon" (Regenold, 2009).

Yet another ecotourism destination is found in England's West County, where Britain's well-known TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall hosts organically minded visitors to his restaurant, the River Cottage Canteen (Shukman, 2008). All the food the chef serves is grown on the property he owns. It is along the lines of both ecotourism and agro-tourism, with plenty of hiking trails available as well.

Medical Tourism

This is a category in which people travel to distant places in search of special medical, dental, and surgical care, and while they are in that particular country, they spend time "…touring, vacationing and experiencing the attractions" of the countries they visit (George, et al., 2009, p. 173). According to Babu P. George, the medical industry in India, in particular, "is trying all out to grab its pie from the evolving global demand for affordable healthcare." Other countries that offer medical and health-related services include Mexico, Singapore, Brazil, Costa Rica and Israel, George explains.

The Raksawarin Hot Spring in Thailand is another medical tourism destination, according to Suwicha Komaladat. Presently the Thai government is working with tourism services to help promote this curative venue around the world as "a potential touristic destination."

The Asian health tourism market (Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and India) is expected to rise to about $4.4 billion by 2012, according to an article in the Malaysian Government News (Bawaba, 2010, p. 1). The Health Minister for Malaysia, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai claims in the article that his country will see $110 million this year from health tourism. The Malaysian government has signed a joint-venture agreement with an Indian firm to build the Narayana International Medical Centre, which will be an attractive destination for foreigners who have health needs such as oncology, cardiology, and orthopaedicss (Bawaba, 2010).

Business Tourism -- "Meetings Tourism"

When business people schedule corporate meetings and conferences in places that require travel, the travelers have an opportunity to play tourists in the evenings or when there are open periods of time on the conference schedule. Of course there are strictly business travelers on virtually every commercial jetliner at any time, but meetings tourism is different, because often the conference or seminal is scheduled at a venue that offers many tourist attractions. For example, Spain is a destination for meetings tourism; in fact according to the Daily Travel & Tourism Newsletter, meetings tourism in Barcelona rose by 28% between 2006 and 2007.

Barcelona, the capital of Catalan, hosted 629,704 delegates in 2007, up from 138,676 in 2006. The number of professional meetings rose in 2007 by 472 over 2006, according to the Travel & Tourism Newsletter. Of the many hotels in Barcelona, meetings tourism helped fill 2,322,371 "overnights" in 2007, which was an increase of 33.5% from 2006.

The meetings that businesses from around the world schedule in Barcelona are attracted to the city thanks to the promotional work of the Barcelona Convention Bureau (BCB) and its coalition of 318 Spanish companies. This coalition of marketing strength brings Congresses, conventions, trade fairs and incentive trips to Barcelona. The thousands of meetings attendees who come to… [END OF PREVIEW]

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