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The spatial and charactheristic diversity among destinations has become so great it is important classify destinations so that a systematic discussion of tourism psychology nad motivation can be undertaken. One way to do this is to build on Valene L. Smith’s identification of several types of tourism. That is, classification of destinations can be developed on the basis of the types of travel experience provided at the various destinations. Smith identified six categories of tourism:
- Ethnic tourism is travelling for the purpose of observing the cultural expressions and lifestyles of truly exotic peoples. Such tourism is exemplified by travel to Panama to study the San Blas India to observe the isolated hill tribes of Assam. Typical destination activities would include visits to native homes, attending dances, and ceremonies, and possibly participating in religious rituals.
- Cultural tourism is travel to experience and, in some cases, participate in a vanishing lifestyle that lies with human memory. The picturesque setting or “local color” in the destination area is the main attractions. Destination activities, typically, include meals in rustic inns, costume festivals, folk dance performances, and arts and crafts demonstrations in “old-style’ fashion. Visits to Wlliamsburg, Virginia, and greenfield village in Dearborn, Michigan, or Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, are examples of cultural tourism.
- Environment tourism is similar to ethnic tourism, drawing tourist to remote areas. But the emphasis here is natural and environmental attractions, rather than ethnic ones. Travel for the purpose of “getting to nature” and to appreciate (or become sensitive to) people-land relationships falls in this category. Environmental tourism is primarily geographic and ncludes such destinations as niagara falls, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, and natural wonders. Typical destination activities include photography, hiking, mountain climbing, canoeing, and camping.
- Rcreational tourism centers on participation in sports, curative spas, sun bathing, and social contacts in a relaxed environment. Such areas often promote sand, sea nad sex troughthrough beatifl color photographs that make you want to be there on the ski slopes, on palm fringed beaches, on championship golf courses, or on tennis courts. Such promotion is designed to atrract tourist whose esstial pupose is to relax. Las vegas epitomizes another type of recreational travel gambling, spectaculer floorshows, and away from home freedom.
- Business tourism as characterized by conventions/ meetings/ seminars/ is another important from of travel (The United Nations includes the business traveller in its definition of tourist). Business travel is frequently combined with one or more of the types of tourism already identified. Converserly, a tourist can select from myriad destinations that provide the same basic type of tourism. For instance, a tourist with an interest in historical tourism may travel to any country taht has historical appeal.
McIntosh, Robert W. Tourism. (1955)