Characteristics of Tourism You Need to Know About

Tourism is defined as the transitory short-term movement of individuals to locations outside of their usual areas of residence and employment, as well as their activities while at these locations.

Though all tourism should involve some travel, not all travel qualifies as tourism.

Tourism includes any activities which include people visiting and staying in locations other than their normal surroundings for up to one year in a row unless they are connected to receiving compensation from the place they are visiting.

Forms of Tourism

The United Nations (UN) classified three forms of tourism in 1994 in its recommendation on tourism statistics:

  1. Domestic tourism refers to travel by citizens of the host nation only within that nation. (For instance, a Nepali visiting Nepal)
  2. Inbound tourism refers to foreign tourists visiting a particular nation (for instance, Americans visiting Nepal).
  3. Outbound tourism involves locals visiting foreign nations. (For instance, Nepalese visiting America).

Characteristics of Tourism

Tourism is a service industry since it possesses all the unique characteristics of the sector, which include the following:


The most distinctive feature of the service sector is intangibility. Consumer goods are examples of tangible products that can be handled and felt. In contrast, intangible products are those that can only be sensed and experienced during intake and cannot be seen, tasted, or touched.

Ex: We can experience the view of the beautiful mountains but we can’t carry it with us to our home.


When a product or service is inseparable, it signifies that it cannot be removed from the original service provider.

Ex: The experience of visiting Tal Barahi, Rara Lake, Pumdikot, etc. can’t be known by sitting inside the room. The tourist needs to visit the place to experience the beauty of those places.


Fruits, meat, fish, vegetables, and milk are said to be perishable goods since they spoil quickly. Similar to food, every tourism product has a shelf life and is therefore perishable.

Ex: If we buy tickets to the plane, we need to use them on that day. It can’t be kept for a long time.

No ownership:

A tourist product’s ownership cannot be transferred to the customer. The only reason the consumer has the right to use the goods is that he has paid for them for a specific number of days or hours.

Customer participation:

The customer must actively participate in the provision of the service in the tourism sector; else, the service can never be fully rendered. In the industry, a product is sold and a product is consumed; none of these activities is possible without the involvement of the customer.


Tourists employ a variety of services while traveling, including transportation, lodging, dining, automobile rentals, and numerous indoor and outdoor leisure pursuits. However, the experiences that tourists have in one location may not be the same in another one.

The preservation of World Heritage sites is frequently seen as being threatened by tourism. In actuality, tourism serves as a venue and a means of preserving, exhibiting, and ensuring the economic and social sustainability of heritage. Therefore, in most situations, tourism acts as a balancing mechanism to preserve and safeguard history itself.

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