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Definitions Of Tourism And Tourists Essay

954 words - 4 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

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. 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...

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