Tourism and travel: confusion of concepts

As we can see from the definitions of the UN Commission, the evolution of the concept of “tourism” shows rather not the expansion of functions, but the replacement of concepts that did not previously belong to this term and cannot belong in meaning, no matter how anyone wants it. It is easy to see how travel, as a kind of activity, improperly became a part of the phenomenon called “tourism”, while such concepts as “tourist” and “traveler” remained, and mean completely different things.

If earlier one of the cornerstone definitions of the term “tourism” was active recreation, which it remained until 1993, and also, according to the TSB definition, this activity in free time from work, then since 1993 these two conditions have been deleted from the definition. If earlier one could intuitively assume that tourism is an unprofessional and amateur phenomenon for the purpose of active recreation, and travel, and its derivative “traveler”, is a professional activity, now it is assumed that “professionals” are involved in tourism, and the actions of “non-professional tourists” are travel, which a “professional” could have previously claimed, which leads at least to confusion and confusion of concepts, their duplication. In fact, now the activity of any vacationer and professional traveler can be called tourism, and all of them – tourists. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

Now tell me, please, if two people meet, one engaged in active recreation with trips, hikes, river rafting (or a traveler) and a fan of lounging on the beach of some Egypt, then how to present the activities of each of them, what to call them and while distinguishing from each other? Tourists? Additional clarifications will be required in order to define their activities, somehow delineate, indicate the differences between them. It is clear that the modern terminology “tourist” and “tourism” does not correspond to reality.

For example, the concept of a driver includes many qualifying concepts, united by the activity of driving a vehicle. However, for a more accurate definition of a specific type of controlled vehicle, there are clarifications, for example, a driver – a car driver, a machinist – a train driver, etc. Why not give the ambiguous term “tourist” clearer concepts and distinguish an “active tourist” and a traveler from a lazy person and a shopaholic who goes on a foreign tour for the purpose of shopping?

You can also find opinions that in the modern sense “tourist” is a consumer of a tour, tourist product or tourist services; a temporary visitor to a locality, settlement, territory or country, regardless of his citizenship, nationality, gender, language and religion; staying in a given area for at least 24 hours, but not more than 12 months during a calendar year, or staying outside his place of residence within his country and carrying out at least one overnight stay; traveling for pleasure or for educational, medical, business purposes and not engaged in activities in the place of temporary stay, paid from a local source.

You can also disagree with this, because an excursion trip for one day can already be considered excursion tourism, as well as any weekend hike, regardless of whether it was an overnight stay or not. It has already been said about business trips. But the concept of medical tourism is already something out of the ordinary! If in the economic dictionary this generalized concept of a certain phenomenon can still be somehow far-fetched (if there is no room for new concepts in the language), then from the point of view of the naturally familiar understanding of the term “tourism”, a trip for treatment is not cannot be tourism. Again, we must state the fact that the terminology applied to tourism does not stand up to scrutiny.

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