The Many Kinds of Tourism

Updated 20-Sep-2023

many kinds of tourism

There are many different kinds of travel and tourism. Below is a list not exhaustive but extensive.

To be honest, tourism as an industry is not necessarily a great thing.

That said, there are opportunities inside of the experiences...

The Many Different Kinds of Tourism

There are many types of tourism, below is meant to provide some coverage of the totality of topics:

Adventure Tourism

Also Extreme Tourism, for the more dangerous/exotic kinds of Adventure


Tourists being involved in agriculture in some way, picking berries, making wine, dude ranches, etc.

Air Travel and Air Tourism

Including ballooning, and other kinds of flight (hang gliding up to jets), for example small plane flights over the Grand Canyon, seaplane flights over San Francisco bay, etc.

Amusement Park Tourism


Animal Tourism

This could be caring for, studying, or hunting, killing, and/or eating animals (or really, any living thing).

Astronomy tourism

Places to star-gaze, witness eclipses, meteor showers, and things like the aurora borealis.

Atomic Tourism

Travel to significant sites in atomic history such as museums with atomic weapons, vehicles that carried atomic weapons or sites where atomic weapons were detonated. - Atomic Tourism - Wikipedia

Bicycle Tourism

Tourism by bicycle, can be long journeys or things like road biking, or even urban bicycle tourism.


Small or large ships, can include sailboats. River cruises as well as large luxury ocean-going cruises.

Cultural Tourism

Cultural experiences or performances, high culture or slum culture.

Dark Tourism, aka Atrocity Tourism

Places associated with death and suffering, though there may be a cathartic effect, as in Can Dark Tourism Help Cambodia Heal?

Death Tourism

Where death took place or even where one wants to go to die

Disaster Tourism

Places where great disasters have happened, including volcanos, meteor impacts, nuclear disasters (Chernobyl, see the amazing stories and photos of Chernobyl by Kid of Speed). Volcano tourism is a well-known subset of Disaster Tourism

Doom Tourism

Visiting sites/phenomena that will be gone soon: Ice caps of Kilimanjaro, coral of the Great Barrier Reef

Drug Tourism

Going places to get high or experience the local drugs

Eco-tourism / Ecotourism

Ecologically low footprint but also the ecology as the object/destination of the tourism.

Educational Tourism

Touring in a place to gain educational experiences or credits (or degrees), including various aspects of study abroad.

Environmental Tourism

This is akin to Ecotourism, but is specifically about developing the environment, not merely reducing one's footprint.

Fertility, Reproductive, Maternity, and Birth Tourism

Travel to other countries in order to reproduce (for biological or legal reasons),

Food/Culinary Tourism

See also agritourism. This can be anything from street food to Michelin star dining.

Gap Year Tourism

Gap Year is an Aus/NZ item where a year is taken between school and work, or between school and school

Garden Tourism

Check out gardens, apparently all the rage in Europe and the UK in the 18-19th century.

Genealogy Tourism

Finding relatives, grave markers, etc.

Geo Tourism

Coined phrase incorporating a variety of sustainable, built-environment elements


Glamorous Camping

Grand Tourism

Historically prominent sites to see, such as the Taj Mahal, etc.

Health Tourism / Fitness Tourism

Health food, spa, yoga retreat, fitness camps, etc.

Language Tourism


LGBTQ Tourism

Can be sex tourism or just gay friendly

Love/Marriage Tourism

Medical Tourism

Cosmetic surgery (ศัลยกรรมเสริมความงาม), routine surgery, rehabilitation, dental work, etc.

Metropolitan tourism


MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions)

Also called business tourism

Mountaineering, Trekking, Mountain Climbing


Music Tourism

Going places to hear music (e.g., larger concert events in different places) or to learn or play music, or even record music

Nature Tourism / Nature Park / National Park Tourism

Tourism dealing with nature, this may be specifically in a nature park or natural park, or outside of a park but still in nature.

Nautical Tourism

Sailing and Boating (overlap with Cruises above)

Party Tourism

Touring to or between large parties or events, such as the Full Moon party

Political Tourism


Pop Culture Tourism


Recreation Tourism


Religious Tourism

Travel to religious places or events, pilgrimages; aka sacred tourism, and pilgrimages.

Responsible Tourism

Similar to Sustainable, usually minimizing impact on animals and people economically and culturally

Retirement Tourism

Seasonal (yearly migrations) as well as expatriation, though it is a question when Tourism ends (e.g., for the Digital Nomad)

Rural Tourism



See Wildlife Tourism

Sex Tourism


Shopping Tourism




Slow Tourism

See Chiang Mai takes a stab at slow tourism

Slum Tourism

See also Metropolitan tourism

Space Tourism

Including space station, lunar, and (hopefully) interstellar tourism.

Sport / Sports Tourism

Participating in marathons, Muay Thai camps, to spectator sports Olympics, etc., see also Snow Sports and Water Sports Tourism

Spring Break Tourism

Go somewhere to get drunk for a week, see also drug tourism

Suicide Tourism

Travel to other places to kill oneself

Sustainable Tourism / Carbon Neutral Tourism

Can be carbon neutral, or other ways of measuring sustainability

Time Travel

Surely a possibility

Train Surfing

Train hopping, train hitching, hoboing

Urban Tourism

Usually in archeologically significant cities

Virtual Tourism

Virtual experience of tourism

Vocational Tourism

Tourism around work, possibly skill updates, professional development, etc.

Volunteer Tourism / Voluntourism

Volunteering and tourism combined. Includes the rather disturbing orphanage tourism.

War Tourism

Tourism near or in a war zone

Water Sport / Water Sports Tourism

Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Free Diving, Fishing, but also recreational watersports, such as surfing, waterskiing, parasailing, kite surfing, and the like.

Wedding Tourism

Including Honeymooning

Wildlife Tourism

Anything from birdwatching, butterflies to safaris

Wine Tourism

Aka Enotourism, can be a part of party tourism, food/culinary tourism, agritourism. Similar to this is Distillery tourism (Scotland/Ireland).