Throughout the academic and business world there is ongoing debate regarding the insufficient definitions of the terms ‘tourism’ and ‘tourist’. Upon researching this matter I have also come to question the validity of the ‘tourism industry’ and its ability to meet the requirements of industrial and commercial activities due to the lack of uniform and limitations of what it pertains to. The following are definitions I have chosen, in order of preference, to shed light on the ambiguous nature of these terms so that a clearer understanding can be realised for economic and educational use. Of these it can also be seen that they have been sourced from opposing areas of interest - industry, academic and dictionary, as to better illustrate the need for more than one type of definition. Furthermore, each will be deconstructed to communicate their relative strengths and weaknesses in relation to fundamental aspects of their current use. - World Tourism Organisation (cited in Tribe 2009, p.44);
Tourism: ‘... comprises the activities of a person’s travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited.’ - World Tourism Organisation (1993, cited in Cooper, Shepherd & Westlake (1996, p.18);
Tourist: ‘...A visitor* who in the country visited for at least one night.
*Visitor: ‘...Any person who travels o a country other than that in which he/she has his/her usual environments, for a period not exceeding 12 months and whose main purpose of visit is other than the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the country visited.’ - Stear (2005, p. 8&11);
Tourism: ‘... tourism is travel and temporary stay, involving at least one night away from the region of a person’s usual home that is undertaken with the major expectation of satisfying leisure needs that are perceived as being more enjoyably able to be satisfied by being at places outside of, and qualitatively different to, the home region.’
Tourist: ‘... a tourist is a person engaging in the activities directly associated with the present or future travel and temporary stay that involves at least one night away from the region of their usual home that is undertaken with the major expectation of satisfying leisure needs that are perceived as being more enjoyably able to be satisfied by places outside of, and qualitatively different to, the home region.’ - Oxford Dictionary (2011);
Tourism: ‘...the commercial organization and operation of holidays and visits to places of interest.’ Tourist: ‘...a person who is travelling or visiting a place for pleasure.’
To begin, one of the key factors in defining tourism is determining where it begins, ends, and the stakeholders impacted along the way. As explained by Theobald (1994, p.26), ‘tourism is more like a ‘sector’ that impacts a wide range of industries’ rather than an industry itself as current statistical measurement of economic effects is unreliable and problematic. Stear’s blanket approach of tourism neglects to set parameters for quantitative study where ‘many of these businesses also serve local residents [and] the impact of spending by visitors can easily be overlooked or underestimated’(Theobald 1994, p.4).
This leads to the need for segregation of the term by its main features to establish the objective of the meaning and what it aims to achieve. This is adequately explained by Tribe (2009, p.25) as ‘...differentiation is sought between functional definitions of the term tourist used to define and measure activities of people for the purposes of sorting and collecting data about those activities, and that of the concept of tourist, which has a much less well-understood value’. Because of this it is widely accepted that there are ‘...two different types of tourism definitions, each with its own...