Tourist ＆ Tourism by Encyclopedia of Tourism Chief Editor Jafar Jafari
The term ‘tourist’ was invented as an extension of ‘tour’, which earlier had evolved to its modern sense of a trip for pleasure. While ‘tour’has long meant a circular trip, its modern sense – a pleasure trip – evolved only 270 years ago. Daniel Defoe`s book. A Tour Through The Whole Island of Grate Britain(1726), is an early sign of this modern meaning, and the book, an instant bestseller, helped promote it. Previously, motivations of travellers involved somber attitudes to scholarship, exploration, commerce and religion. As a pioneer of pleasure travel, Defoe retained interests in their subjects but imbued them with pleasure, which became extra motivation. Be cause of this new attitude he was regarded as slightly eccentric, certainly unusual. In Japan a near contemporary of Defoe, Basho, was another pioneer of pleasure travel; his book Narrow Road to the Deep North appeared in 1692. A generation after Defoe, the eccentricity became fashionable in Europe, for by 1745 the expression Grand Tour was widely used, referring to leisurely circuits of the Continent for high cultural purpose.
A Generation later, in the 1770s, Adam Smith formed an opinion that the cultural ideals had been sufficiently eroded by pleasurable priorities to justify a new word,’tourist’. Smith`s neologistic device,’tour-ist’,symbolised persons making a ritual of quick visits to cultural sites but spending most of their time seeking pleasure. Thus in its beginning, ‘tourist’ was pejorative. Today, while it still carries various senses of inferiority ( in form, style, class, standard, price, dependency and more) among many who use or hear it, those connotations are not universal.
Currently three sets of meanings of tourist can be identified, each serving a particular context. The three are popular ideals, technical definitions and heuristic meanings. Failure to discriminate clearly among the sets can lead to confusion. Dictionaries report common popular meanings, but cannot report all in this set. Different persons use varied concepts and perspectives for distinguishing tourist, so that what constitutes a boundary between tourists and non-tourists cannot be specified in a manner that suits everybody.
Technical definitions are used for statistical data. An unambiguous statement allows everybody responsible for collecting, processing and using data to know what is included. Because popular ideas of tourist are diverse and subjective, official statistics cannot leave the demarcation to opinion. Widely followed technical definitions for ‘international tourist’ have changed over the years, but the following is a current version: For statistical purposes the term ‘international tourist’ describes any person vising a country other than that in which they have their usual residence, but outside their usual environment, for a period not exceeding 12 months and exercise of activity remunerated from within the country visited. International visitors include ‘tourists’ (overnight visitors) who stay at least one night in a collective or private accommodation in the country visited and ‘same-day visitors’. (World Tourism Organization 1997:3)
This definition is much broader than many popular ideals, for it counts as tourists those making trips for many purposes, including vacation, holiday, business, pilgrimage, conference, visiting relatives, study and so on. This scope should be heeded when interpreting statistical data. However, technical definitions are not authoritative prescription which must be adopted for the next, third context.
Heuristic meanings help learning. Formal studies or research on tourists’ behaviour, and formal discussions or lectures, can be helped by a crafted description and ultimately a precise definition as to what is meant by ‘tourist’. Such statements help focus thinking and remove ambiguities. Since technical definitions usually embrace many trip purposes. They are inappropriate for detailed discussions of tourist behaviour. Consequently ,individual researchers should devise their own heuristic concepts, refined to definitions if precision is needed,to suit each project.
In that process,four criteria can be considered. First there is itinerary: domestic or international, or both. Second, minimum and maximum duration of trips can be indicated. Normally tourists are distinguished from day-trippers, for if the latter were regarded as tourists, studies of tourism would logically have be biased towards the special nature of day-tripping, which is a far larger phenomenon. A third criterion (not essential) is minimum distance traveled. A forth is distinctive behaviour,which can be indicated by saying that tourism revolves around leisure. Tourists` leisure involves recreational and/or creative experiences from features or characteristics of places visited. There is commonly called attractions. Their central elements are sights, sites, objects, events and other phenomena.
Once many publications referred to ‘the tourist’ in ways implying that all tourists behave similarly (‘Xanadu has much to offer the tourists’). This stereotype has been progressively abandoned. Diversity is now reflected in typologies, in acknowledgement of various purposes of trips, and in touristic categories such as adventure, cultural, pleasure, business, domestic and so on. Further diversity occurs in the degree to which different tourists depend on services and goods supplied by tourism industries. Highly dependent tourists are consumers relevant for business marketing, while independent or self-sufficient tourism occurs beyond or at the fringes of markets served by those industries. Meanwhile the complex and heterogeneous nature of tourists’ behavior can be explored using many social science and business disciplines or concepts, such as anthropology, behavior, anomie, attitude, escape, experience, fantasy, management, marketing, psychographics, pyschology, regression, self-actualisation and sociology.
As the scope and range of topics covered this encyclopedia reveal, tourism is indeed a challenging multisectoral industry and a truly multidisciplinary field o study. To reveal and understand both its manifest and hidden dimensions, much has been written on this subject. While earlier studies through the 1960s mainly focused on its economic contributions, present efforts define and treat it as a whole, whether as an industry, a phenomenon, or both. To frame this comprehensive focus, during recent years holistic treatments and definitions have gained popularity. For example, tourism is defined as the study of man (the tourist) away from his usual habitat, of the touristic apparatus and networks responding to his various needs, and of the ordinary ( where the tourist is coming from) and non-ordinary (where the tourist goes to) words and their dialectic relationships. Such conceptualisations extend the frame beyond the earlier trade-oriented notions or definitions mostly devised to collected data and calculate tourist arrivals, departures, or expenditures. Significantly,it is this holistic view which accommodates a systemic study of tourism: all its parts, its interconnected structures and functions,as well as forms and forces relating to it. The purposefulness of the emerging landscape of knowledge, as demonstrated in this volume’s coverage and through new studies regularly published in now over forty research journals in this field, as well as other media, all point to the more scholarly horizons ahead, but without failing to recognise that it is tourism as an industryーwith its perceived and documented socioeconomic costs and benefits ーwhich has brought all this worldwide academic attention and popularity to the forefront.