• That Wander Chic

Glossary: Tourism and tourist

Yup, that´s me being a complete tourist while wandering around in Tassie! Bay of Fires, Tasmania 2018.

It´s becoming more of a trend for travellers not to call themselves tourists. When I was backpacking I asked around my fellow backpackers what they would call themselves, a lot of them would react negatively to the term 'tourist', and it became noticeable that even if the term itself was exact, people seem to attribute negative implications to the idea of being a 'tourist'. So today I'm going to start the discussion, and wonder what's the global travel trend behind the autoadscriptions of travel identities.

The World Tourism Organization (WTO) defines tourism as: "The activities of persons travelling and staying in places outside their normal environment for no more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes" ( World Tourism Organization 1998). Tourism involves a displacement of distances, going from A to B, where B is not your local place of origin or living (place A).

When you are moving from one place to another - you are travelling - you become a tourist. The central concept of tourist statistics is the visitor. Visitors are divided into excursionists and tourists; excursionists are those whose visit lasts less than 24 hours, while tourists are those travellers whose visit lasts between 24 hours and less than 365 days, according to the World Tourism Organization (1998). Those who move spatially as refugees, nomads, diplomats, emigrants and military are not tourists; but those who travel with recreation, health, religion, business, or a combination of these activities are TOURISTs (Molinar 2006: 12).

So now that we know the official term for Tourism and Tourists... What the hell are theoretical implications of the so-called "Travellers"? And what about those who call themselves "wanderers"?

Are you a Tourist or a Traveller? Or are you a Wanderer?

Stay tuned for the next couple of entries, where we will be focusing on what are the conceptions of these terms.

Also, if you want to share your thoughts please do! Tell us if you are a Tourist, a Traveller or a Wanderer.

Check out the Tourist or Traveller project!​​


Molinar, Carlos 2006 Relaciones entre el turismo y la cultura: Turismo cultural y la cultura turística en México y en Colima. Estudios sobre las Culturas Contemporáneas 12(24):9-33.

World Tourism Organization (WTO) 1998 Overview of Basic Tourism Statistics, Recommendations on Tourism Statistics. Documento electrónico, www.wto.org, accesado el 10 de febrero del 2013.

#Glossary #touristgaze #traveller #TheWanderCliché #ThatWanderChic

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I'm passionate about sharing and connecting with adventures, stories, tourism experiences that allow us to reflect on our place in the world and the way we travel.


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Where Anthropology meets Tourism

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