Did you know Travel and tourism are among the fastest-growing industries? Yes! It contributes to the world’s GDP while travelling significantly refreshes your mind and reduces stress. Moreover, the tourism infrastructure has developed dramatically in recent years, making exploring different parts of the world more accessible. This article has discussed different types of tourism you must know before you plan to visit worldwide.

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What is Tourism & Its History:

Tourism is a process of spending away from home to pursue recreation. Or spending time away from the daily routine for relaxation and pleasure. Every country thrives on tourism because it boosts revenue, helps cultural exchange, develops infrastructure and creates employment.

But modern tourism has many definitions because every person visits another country for a different purpose. For example, some might visit for recreational purposes, while others might visit for business purposes. Hence there are different types of tourism based on the person’s needs.

The modern concept of tourism dates back to the 17th century. This was when the western and northern European country nobles made a grand tour around Europe to soak in the culture, art, and history.

Classification or Categories of Tourism:

The movement of people in the country’s natural environment or outside the country for any purpose is called Tourism, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. There are three types of tourism in any country: domestic, international, and outbound. But tourism has newly evolved nowadays. Some of the types of tourism developed nowadays are:

  • Domestic tourism
  • International tourism
  • Outbound tourism
  • Business tourism
  • Adventure tourism
  • Wildlife tourism
  • Medical tourism
  • Wellness tourism
  • Pilgrimage and spiritual tourism
  • Cultural tourism
  • Dark tourism
  • Culinary tourism
  • Celebrity tourism or Film tourism
  • Educational tourism
  • Cruise tourism
  • Rural tourism
  • Beach tourism
  • Space tourism

Read Also: Popular Types of Boats

Top 15 Types Of Tourism Worldwide:

Here we have listed some popular types of tourism that you must familiarize yourself with if you wish to go on an international adventure for official or personal purposes.

1. Ecotourism:

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If you wish to visit undisturbed natural areas, then it is called Ecotourism. This is because it promotes the well-being of the local people and helps conserve the environment. Alaska, The Amazon, Antarctica, Australian Blue Mountains, Botswana, Borneo, Costa Rica, Galapagos Islands, Dominica and the Himalayas are some of the best ecotourism destinations in the world.

2. Cultural tourism:

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The type of tourism where travellers engage with a country’s lifestyle, religion, and culture, the elements that shape people’s lives, is called Cultural tourism. The tourists get involved in festivals and rituals popular in the said country. Madagaskar, Lombok, Indonesia, Haida Gwaii, Latvia, British Columbia, Northern Columbia, Chiang Mai, Northern Sri Lanka, Thailand, Greece, Aristi, South Africa, Western Cape and Tamil Nadu, India are some of the popular cultural tourism destinations.

3. Sustainable tourism:

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Tourism involving travelling to a place to impact its economy positively, society and environment is called Sustainable tourism. This type of tourism is also called responsible tourism, which benefits everyone. The Republic of Guyana, Slovenia, Portugal, Ljubljana, Chumbe Island in Tanzania, Bardia National Park and Ecuador’s Galapagos national park are some of the top sustainable tourism destinations.

4. Domestic tourism:

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The type of tourism involving residents of a country travelling within the same country is called Domestic tourism. In this tourism type, tourists don’t cross international borders. For example, it is called domestic tourism when you travel to Texas if you are living in Manhattan. You can boost the economy’s growth and employment generation, enhance infrastructure and minimize poverty with Domestic tourism.

5. Niche tourism:

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Niche tourism is a type of tourism that focuses on a specific aspect of travelling and the end user’s interest. It is one of the fastest-growing sectors, making the destination more exciting and saleable. For example, some tourists want to visit old architectural monuments, buildings, and places, while some tourists want to go to a museum, etc. Therefore, niche tourism focuses on Travel and shows a particular activity.

6. Business tourism:

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Business tourism involves travelling to attend meetings or officially get together for conferences, as the name suggests. Therefore, the impact on the tourism sector the Business tourism is significant. Sometimes, people stay for business purposes and spend their vacations in the places where they visit for business purposes. Attending meetings, officially getting together, seminars, conferences, visiting exhibitions and trade fairs are some of the general activities related to Business tourism.

7. International tourism:

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International tourism is the type of tourism that crosses national borders. Tourism is considered a popular global leisure activity because of Globalisation. At any one time, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the number of tourists travelling outside their usual environment for leisure, business and other purposes in a flight is estimated up to 500,000 people. Some of the famous international destinations are:

  • France.
  • Spain.
  • The United States.
  • China.
  • Italy.
  • Turkey.
  • Mexico.
  • Thailand.
  • Germany.
  • The United Kingdom.

8. Adventure tourism:

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As the name suggests, Adventure Tourism is one in which a person travels from one place to another to seek activities and adventures. Tourists who like to visit remote areas popularly use this form of tourism. You can undertake activities like hiking, rafting, climbing, and diving. This type of tourism encourages you to come out of your comfort zone. As a result, Adventure tourism’s popularity is increasing every day. Some popular activities in Adventure tourism include White water rafting, Kedarnath tour, Ladakh tour, Port Blair and Andaman and Nicobar tour.

9. Alternative tourism:

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Alternative tourism is also called specific interest tourism (SIT). This type of tourism involves Travel that encourages interaction with local communities, people and government efficiently. Travellers who love nature and want to preserve it choose alternative tourism. Ecotourism, Adventure tourism, Sustainable tourism, Solidarity tourism, and Rural tourism are examples of alternate tourism.

10. Rural tourism:

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The type of tourism that occurs in a rural environment and involves rural experience is called Rural tourism. Tourists spend their leisure time in villages or rural areas in this category that might last a few days or even a couple of months. Solo travellers can join in all the activities in the village while enjoying a lonely time. Community tourism in Kutch, Bhubandanga West Bengal, Sundarban and Jodhpur village life, Farming in Rural Punjab, and The Spiti Valley Rural Tourism are some of the places you can visit come under Rural tourism.

11. Culinary tourism:

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The type of Tourism that helps you explore new food destinations is culinary or food tourism. This trip involves the opportunity to learn new cooking techniques or attend a food tasting. This is a welcome change from the travel itinerary you usually find. Italy, Spain, Dubai, India, Thailand, Bangkok, Tokyo, Japan, Ethiopia, Peru and New Orleans are some of the world’s top culinary tourism destinations.

12. Educational tourism:

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The type of tourism that involves Travelling in search of learning a new language used in that particular region is called Educational tourism. These types of tourism also include attending an educational event and understanding the new culture or the history of the place. Educational tourism also allows students to get travel experience while using it to supplement education. United Kingdom, Turkey, Italy, Greece, and Cambodia are some of the famous Educational tourist spots in the world.

13. Wildlife tourism:

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Wildlife tourism is a type of tourism which involves people Travelling to different places to observe and interact with flora, fauna and wildlife in their natural habitat. This type of tourism became recognized because of the exotic wildlife species available in every country. Some perfect examples of wildlife tourism activities include Safaris, Swimming with dolphins, and Visiting the animal rescue centre.

14. Space tourism:

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The aviation industry has gone through significant changes in the last 100 years. For example, cargo transport is now being used for travelling, which was once used for warfare. In addition, space tourism is a niche segment of the aviation industry that allows tourists to experience space travel as astronauts for leisure, business or recreational purposes.

The pioneer in space tourism was Russia when the Soyuz spacecraft took American businessman Dennis Tito on his first space trip in 2001 April. However, many other organizations worldwide started diving into this field after the surge in the public interest.   

15. Cruise tourism:

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Cruise tourism is the type of tourism which involves holidays based partially or wholly on a cruise ship. As a result, tourists can enjoy a multi-centred holiday experience. People can tour oceans, fjords or rivers on cruise ships like small yachts, big ships etc. Some of the famous cruise destinations include the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Arctic, etc., 

Interesting facts about tourism:

Here are some of the exciting facts about global tourism you might find interesting:

  • The global tourism industry has a global economic contribution of US 7.6 Trillion and is one of the largest industries.
  • China spends 261Billion USD making it the world’s top tourism spender.
  • Some of the top tourism destinations in the world are:
    France – 84.5 million.
    USA – 77.5 million.
    Spain – 68.5 million.
    China – 56.9 million.
    Italy – 50.7 million.
  • The tourism industry supports 1/10 th jobs worldwide, which is 9.9% of employment globally.
  • Tourists splash the highest amount of cash of about USD 28.50B in Dubai among the world’s cities.
  • Osaka in Japan is the fastest-growing holiday destination among the emerging travel hotspots.
  • Travel and tourism directly supported 118,454,000 jobs in 2017.

We hope the different types of tourism mentioned in this article will help you educate yourself better, making your visit to any country more accessible. So go through the list thoroughly and pick the tourism type that suits your needs. Don’t forget to let us know if you found the article helpful!


1. What are the different types of tourism activities?

Some of the popular kinds of tourism activities are:

  • Hiking.
  • Boat tour.
  • Swimming with dolphins.
  • Heritage trails.
  • Game drive.

2. What are the types of tourism packages?

Here are some of the famous tourism packages which appeal to a different people differently:

  • Adventure Tourism package
  • Wildlife Tourism Package
  • Medical tourism package
  • Pilgrimage tourism package
  • Ecotourism Package
  • Cultural Tourism Package
  • Family Tourism Package
  • Honeymoon Tourism Package
  • Wellness Tourism Package
  • Cruise Tourism Package

3. What are the types of tourists?

There are five types of tourists found in most countries. They are:

  • Incentive tourist.
  • Business tourist.
  • Leisure tourist.
  • The foodie tourist.
  • Special interest tourists.


The content presented in this article is based on research and not a replacement for a professional opinion. The website is not responsible for the authenticity and accuracy of the information.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.