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Types of Tourism

 

What types of tourism do you know? Give as many examples as you can. Try to classify them into categories according to features that they have in common. Some types can belong to more than one group. What types are traditional ones? What types are brand new? What are more popular/less popular? Why?

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The United Nations classified three forms of tourism in 1994, in its "Recommendations on Tourism Statistics”: Domestic tourism, which involves residents of the given country traveling only within this country; Inbound tourism, involving non-residents traveling in the given country; and Outbound tourism, involving residents traveling in another country.

Medical Tourism

Medical tourism (also called medical travel, health tourism or global healthcare) is a term initially coined by travel agencies and the mass media to describe the rapidly-growing practice of traveling across international borders to obtain health care. Such services typically include elective procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement (knee/hip), cardiac surgery, dental surgery, and cosmetic surgeries. However, virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative treatments, convalescent care and even burial services are available. As a practical matter, providers and customers commonly use informal channels of communication-connection-contract, and in such cases this tends to mean less regulatory or legal oversight to assure quality and less formal recourse to reimbursement or redress, if needed.

Over 50 countries have identified medical tourism as a national industry. However, accreditation and other measures of quality vary widely across the globe, and there are risks and ethical issues that make this method of accessing medical care controversial. Also, some destinations may become hazardous or even dangerous for medical tourists to contemplate.

The concept of medical tourism is not a new one. The first recorded instance of medical tourism dates back thousands of years to when Greek pilgrims traveled from all over the Mediterranean to the small territory in the Saronic Gulf called Epidauria. This territory was the sanctuary of the healing god Asklepios. Epidauria became the original travel destination for medical tourism.

Spa towns and sanitariums may be considered an early form of medical tourism. In eighteenth century England, for example, patients visited spas because they were places with supposedly health-giving mineral waters, treating diseases from gout to liver disorders and bronchitis.

Factors that have led to the increasing popularity of medical travel include the high cost of health care, long wait times for certain procedures, the ease and affordability of international travel, and improvements in both technology and standards of care in many countries.

Medical tourists can come from anywhere in the First World, including Europe, the Middle East, Japan, the United States, and Canada. This is because of their large populations, comparatively high wealth, the high expense of health care or lack of health care options locally, and increasingly high expectations of their populations with respect to health care.

A large draw to medical travel is convenience and speed. Countries that operate public health-care systems are often so taxed that it can take considerable time to get non-urgent medical care. Taking Canada as an example, an estimated 782,936 Canadians spent time on medical waiting lists in 2005, waiting an average of 9.4 weeks. Canada has set waiting-time benchmarks, e. g. 26 weeks for a hip replacement and 16 weeks for cataract surgery, for non-urgent medical procedures. In Costa Rica, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cuba, Colombia, Philippines or India, a wealthy patient could feasibly have an operation the day after their arrival, while the poor may die before they receive help.

The cost of surgery in India, Thailand or South Africa can be one-tenth of what it is in the United States or Western Europe, and sometimes even less. A heart-valve replacement that would cost $200,000 or more in the US, for example, goes for $10,000 in India - and that includes round-trip airfare and a brief vacation package. Similarly, a metal-free dental bridge worth $5,500 in the US costs $500 in India, a knee replacement in Thailand with six days of physical therapy costs about one-fifth of what it would in the States, and Lasik eye surgery worth $3,700 in the US is available in many other countries for only $730. Cosmetic surgery savings are even greater: a full facelift that would cost $20,000 in the US runs about $1,250 in South Africa.

Popular medical travel worldwide destinations include: Argentina, Brunei, Cuba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and recently, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Tunisia and New Zealand. In Europe Belgium, Poland and Slovakia are also breaking into the business.

The typical process is as follows: the person seeking medical treatment abroad contacts a medical tourism provider. The provider usually requires the patient to provide a medical report, including the nature of ailment, local doctor’s opinion, medical history, and diagnosis, and may request additional information. Certified medical doctors or consultants then advise on the medical treatment. The approximate expenditure, choice of hospitals and tourist destinations, and duration of stay, etc., is discussed. After signing consent bonds and agreements, the patient is given recommendation letters for a medical visa, to be procured from the concerned embassy. The patient travels to the destination country, where the medical tourism provider assigns a case executive, who takes care of the patient's accommodation, treatment and any other form of care. Once the treatment is done, the patient can remain in the tourist destination or return home.

Cultural Tourism

Cultural tourism(or culture tourism) is the subset of tourism concerned with a country or region's culture, especially its arts. Cultural tourism includes tourism in urban areas, particularly historic or large cities and their cultural facilities such as museums and theatres. It can also include tourism in rural areas showcasing the traditions of indigenous cultural communities (i.e. festivals, rituals), and their values and lifestyle. Culture has always been a major object of travel. Heritage, culture and the arts have long contributed to appeal of tourist destination. It is generally agreed that cultural tourists spend more than standard tourists do.

One type of cultural tourism destination is living cultural areas. This trend is evident in the rise in the volume of tourists who seek adventure, culture, history, archaeology and interaction with local people. For an indigenous culture that has stayed largely separated from the surrounding majority, tourism can present both advantages and problems. On the positive side are the unique cultural practices and arts that attract the curiosity of tourists and provide opportunities for tourism and economic development. On the negative side is the issue of how to control tourism so that those same cultural amenities are not destroyed and the people do not feel violated.

Cultural heritage tourism (or just heritage tourism) is a branch of tourism oriented towards the cultural heritage of the location where tourism is occurring. It involves visiting historical or industrial sites (that may include old canals, railways, battlegrounds, etc.), modern urban districts, coastal or island ecosystems, and inland natural areas. The overall purpose is to gain an appreciation of the past. It also refers to the marketing of a location to members of a diaspora who have distant family roots there. Decolonization and immigration form the major background of much contemporary heritage tourism. Falling travel costs have also made heritage tourism possible for more people.

Heritage tourism can also be attributed to historical events that have been dramatized to make them more entertaining (theme parks and country clubs) - for example, a historical tour of a town or city using a theme such as Cossacks or Vikings.

Literary tourism is a type of cultural tourism that deals with places and events from fictional texts as well as the lives of their authors. This could include following the route a fictional character charts in a novel, visiting particular settings from a story or tracking down the haunts of a novelist.

Literary tourists are specifically interested in how places have influenced writing and at the same time how writing has created place. In order to become a literary tourist you only need a novel and an inquisitive mind-set; however, there are literary guides, literary maps, and literary tours to help you on your way.

Garden tourism is a type of niche tourism involving visits or travel to botanical gardens and places which are significant in the history of gardening. Garden tourists often travel individually in countries with which they are familiar but often prefer to join organized garden tours in countries where they might experience difficulties with language, travel or finding accommodation in the vicinity of the garden.

The list of famous gardens which attract garden tourists from afar includes: Sissinghurst Castle Garden and Stourhead in England, Versailles and Giverny in France, Keukenhof in Holland, Villa d'Este and Villa Lante in Italy, Alhambra in Spain, Longwood Gardens and Filoli in the USA, Taj Mahal in India, Ryōan-ji in Japan. In the year 2000 the Alhambra and the Taj Mahal both received over 2 million visitors. This poses problems for the landscape manager.

Michel de Montaigne was one of the earliest garden tourists to record his impressions of gardens (1580). At the start of the twenty-first century Britain had the largest number of gardens open to the public for tourist visits: over 3,500 gardens are listed in Gardens of England and Wales Open for Charity (the 'Yellow Book').

Culinary tourism is valued by tourism industry professionals as one of the most popular niches in the world's tourism industry. Culinary tourism is defined as the pursuit of unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences, according to the International Culinary Tourism Association. Culinary tourism differs from agritourism in that culinary tourism is considered a subset of cultural tourism (cuisine is a manifestation of culture) whereas agritourism is considered a subset of rural tourism. Culinary tourism and agritourism are linked, as the seeds of cuisine can be found in agriculture.

Culinary tourism is not just experiences of the highest caliber - that would be gourmet tourism. This is perhaps best illustrated by the notion that culinary tourism is about what is unique and memorable, not what is necessarily pretentious and exclusive. Similarly, wine tourismandbeer tourism are also regarded as subsets of culinary tourism.

Wine tourism refers to tourism whose purpose is or includes the tasting, consumption or purchase of wine, often at or near the source. Wine tourism can consist of visits to wineries, vineyards and restaurants known to offer unique vintages, as well as organized wine tours, wine festivals or other special events.

Many wine regions around the world have found it financially beneficial to promote such tourism; accordingly, growers associations and others in the hospitality industry in wine regions have spent significant amounts of money over the years to promote such tourism. This is true not only to "Old World" producers (such as Spain, Portugal, France or Italy), but also for the so-called "New World wine" regions (such as Australia, Argentina, Chile, United States or South Africa), where wine tourism plays an important role in advertising their products. In Argentina, for example, the Mendoza Province is becoming one of the tourist destinations in the country as Argentine wine strides to gain international recognition. Similarly, the National Wine Centre of Australia showcases the Australian wine industry, and visitors from around the world visit Northern California's Wine Country.

Religious Tourism

Religious tourism, also commonly referred to as faith tourism, is a form of tourism whereby people of faith travel individually or in groups for pilgrimage, missionary, or leisure (fellowship) purposes.

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