Introduction to Tourism

“Tourism is what tourists and agencies involved in meeting the needs of the tourists”. Tourism is therefore a composite of activities of tourists and that of those who cater to the needs of tourists. These activities influence and are influenced by economic, social, political, peace, national, international, historical and present day factors. Over the decades, tourism as grown to a grand scale, that today it is the 2nd largest industry in terms of money receipts, next only to the oil industry. It has many tourism potentials to cash on. Tourism in India is a growing industry.
In the words of Burkart and Medlik, Tourism denotes, “the temporary short-term movement of people to destination outside the place where they normally live and work and their activities during their stay at these destinations”. The movement should be for a short period and not in pursuit of employment or any paid jobs. The dictionary meaning of tourist is, “a person who travels for pleasure of travelling, out of curiousity and because they have nothing better to do and even for the joy of boasting about it afterwards”. The purpose of travel can be anything except employment. Normally these are pleasure, curiousity, health, education, exposure, vanity, pride, ostentations showmanship or such other pursuits.
The World Tourism Oraganisation defines a tourist as “a temporary visitor staying for atleast 24 hours in a country visited when the purpose of journey can be classified under one of the following heads:
a. Leisure – recreation, holiday, health, study, religion and sports; or
b. Bussiness – family, mission, meetings.

Travellers staying less than 24 hours are called as ‘excursionists’.

Over the years the concept of tourism has changed. Tourists, visitors, guests, and such other terms are used interchangeably. Transit passengers are countered sometimes as tourists. Tourists from neighbouring country, in the case of India, from Pakistan and Bangladesh were not counted as tourists earlier, but now they are counted as tourists.