The travel and tourism industry is a major contributor to the local economies of many countries. Prior to the pandemic, the tourism sector accounted for 10.3% of global GDP, and is on the way to recovery. But what are the different forms of tourism? How is each one defined? In this article, we will look at 8 of the main types of tourism and also in the classification of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) (United Nations World Tourism Organization), which divides tourism into three main categories: domestic, inbound and outbound tourism. Let’s dig deeper. The Three Categories of Tourism In general, there are three main forms of tourism based on the destination and the country of departure, according to the World Tourism Organization: domestic tourism, domestic tourism, and outbound tourism. Domestic tourism Domestic tourism is defined as travel within your country of residence, either for business or leisure purposes. It’s usually much easier to get organized than for international travel, since you don’t need extra paperwork or medical exams, and you can simply catch a domestic flight, bus, or train to your destination. For example, if you live in London and go to Manchester for the weekend, that is domestic tourism. Language barriers and culture shock are also not a factor in domestic tourism (at least not in the majority of cases), which makes it less stressful. Inbound tourism When you enter another country, this is the inbound tourism of the destination country. For example, if you travel from the USA to Spain, this is the domestic tourism of Spain. Domestic tourism is also a form of international tourism. This means that you need to prepare all the necessary papers in advance, as well as take care of additional procedures as needed, such as vaccinations and health checks. Outbound tourism In outbound tourism, you go from your country to another. Taking the same example as in the previous section, if you move from the USA to Spain, that is outbound tourism to the USA, since you are leaving the country. Outbound tourism is a form of international travel and comes with its own set of formal requirements. Travel agents are familiar with these and they may make travel easier – but independent travelers can also venture out on their own and take care of their own paperwork. Many online travel agencies specialize in outbound tourism. The eight types of tourism according to motives We can also define different types of tourism based on the motives, goals and needs of travelers. It can be divided into 8 main types of tourism: Business Tourism: Business tourism or business travel is a subset of tourism where travelers go to another location (domestic or international) for professional reasons, such as: meeting business partners or prospects attending an event, conference, or trade fair Visit another office site of the same company Online booking has revolutionized business travel – and while there are many ways to manage business travel, one of the most efficient options for travel managers and management personnel is to use a business travel platform such as TravelPerk. From a single platform, you can plan, book and manage travel plans as well as track travel expenses. Plus, you can offset your carbon emissions with GreenPerk, change travel plans (even last minute!) with FlexiPerk, and get 80% of your money back if you cancel two hours before you travel. Sometimes business travelers extend their trips for leisure or combine the two under what is now known as a “pleisir” (of business and leisure). Learn How to Save Money on Business Travel If you want to learn more about business travel and streamline your company’s travel management to meet everyone’s needs, reduce stress, and optimize expenses, download TravelPerk’s Ultimate Guide to Travel Management. Leisure tourism Recreational tourism is a broad category that can include many different things: adventure tourism, ecotourism, cultural tourism, urban tourism, and more. Leisure tourism is simply defined as tourism during your spare time, when you can relax and experience an environment different from your own. Local tourist attractions are often a major focus of leisure tourism, although you might very well decide to relax in your own resort complex and book a package of spa treatments, for example. Food is also a major motivator for many leisure travelers: many tourists visit new destinations to sample authentic local foods. Food tourism can be considered a subset of leisure tourism. SHOPPING TOURISM Who doesn’t love coming back with a bag full of exotic items, new clothes, or new gadgets? Shopping tourism is a popular type of travel among those who want to get their hands on a range of brands and things that are not available locally, be it clothes, food, jewelry, souvenirs, electronics or something completely different. Fashion tourism is a subset of shopping tourism and among its top tourist destinations are cities such as Milan, New York, Paris, London and others. Cultural Tourism If you are passionate about other cultures, cultural tourism is likely your idea of a dream vacation, where you can experience another country’s cultural heritage, such as architectural monuments, literature, religion, festivals, theatre, music, cuisine, and more. Because of the rich tapestry of its history, Europe is a popular destination for cultural tourism, and many European countries see a large number of tourists each year. For those who want to travel to experience different cultures, UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites may be a list worth exploring, as it regroups the most important cultural and natural sites in the entire world. Sports tourism Sports tourism or adventure tourism is another type of recreational tourism that is associated with a sporting activity, such as rafting, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, diving, cycling, and more. Group tours may make it easier to engage in sports tourism in remote locations, rather than organizing everything on your own. The choice of location depends on the sport that you want to do. For example, if you are interested in scuba diving, you will need to look for places with well-protected coral reefs and good options for diving schools, whereas if you are a fan of skiing or mountain biking, your best option is obviously a mountainous location with ski lifts or suitable routes. for bikes. Teams that travel to sporting events tend to use the services of a travel management company such as TravelPerk. There’s no need to spend hours searching the internet for accommodations to suit your entire sports team: let TravelPerk do the work for you. With the largest travel inventory on the market, we can arrange flights, trains, car rentals, and accommodations so your team can focus on winning! On the other hand, sports tourism may also be related to traveling to witness a major sporting event, such as the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup for example. Rural Tourism Rural tourism is popular with vacationers who need a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is usually a form of sustainable tourism where you go to remote rural areas to experience a simpler way of life and a quieter and less polluted environment. Locals may benefit from rural tourism in many different ways, while visitors may engage in various tourism activities, such as hiking, orienteering, hunting, fishing, and more. Mountain Tourism If you love nature, going to the mountains might be the best way to spend your vacation. Mountain tourism is popular with sports enthusiasts, as it offers plenty of opportunities to be active in nature: skiing, hiking, and mountain biking are just a few of the many. Sustainability has been a major consideration in mountain tourism in recent years, because mountains often contain fragile ecosystems that cannot sustain a large number of visitors or mass tourism. Itineraries follow mountain passes and visitors are often not allowed to stray off the trail or camp outside designated areas. Urban tourism Urban tourism is a form of tourism that is very popular among various demographics, from backpackers to luxury travelers and from recent graduates to retirees. The top urban tourism destinations in 2022 include Paris, Dubai, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome, London, New York, etc., and attract a large number of international tourists every year. In the top 100 list compiled by Euromonitor International, Europe is the most represented continent, with 40 cities out of the 100. Many people travel – but for very different reasons People travel for many different reasons and in different ways – which means the travel industry has to adapt with the needs of travelers. Other than what we mentioned, there are many other types of tourism, such as medical tourism, religious tourism, recreation tourism, dark tourism, and more. In general, however, we can consider leisure and business tourism as among the two main categories which depend on the motives of travelers.