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   Issue 11/12, Winter 2007/Spring 2008

Types of Tourism

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There has been enormous growth in theme-oriented travel and tourism. This guide cannot attempt to go into all of these areas; however, a few are worth a closer look, including:

Ecotourism / Sustainable Tourism

Generally, ecotourism often involves travel to destinations where flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions and focuses on local culture, wilderness adventures, volunteering, personal growth, and learning new ways to live on the planet. The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people."1 This is an area that is experiencing large growth. The International Ecotourism Society estimates that by the year 2020 ecotourism will reach 1.56 billion arrivals worldwide compared to 800 million arrivals in 2005. 2

BERA - Business & Economics Research Advisor - A Quarterly Guide to Business & Economics Topics

Issue 11/12: Winter 2007/Spring 2008
Updated January 2013

Guide to the Travel & Tourism Industry

Table of Contents

General Travel & Tourism
Travel Agents/Tour Operators
Types of Tourism

See America Poster showing two cowboys on horseback by stream near desert rock formation, ca 1936-1939.
Image (above):
See America Poster, ca. 1936-1939.
Poster for the United States Travel Bureau promoting tourism
Work Projects Administration Poster Collection
Prints and Photographs Division
Reproduction Number: LC-USZC2-831

Rural/Agri Tourism

Rural tourism has been a subject of study since the early days of tourism scholarship. It is only recently, however, that rural tourism has become a special focus of study, dissimilar enough from urban tourism to be a study subject unto itself. Generally, agri-tourism is the "practice of attracting travelers or visitors to an area or areas used primarily for agricultural purposes."3 Rural, or agricultural tourism, has also been a boon to struggling small farmers. While national statistics on this sector are difficult to come by — most of the statistics come from the states — research suggest that as many as two-thirds of Americans take trips to rural destinations.

Adventure Tourism

To a certain extent there has been a concept of Adventure Tourism for a long time. However, what is considered an "adventure" has changed over time. Generally, Adventure Tourism involves exploration or travel to remote or exotic destinations and/or very unique activities. It is generally grouped into two areas: "hard activities" and "soft activities." "Hard activities" include such activities as water adventures, mountain biking, caving, climbing, etc. while "soft activities" include cycling, camping, water skiing, snow skiing, dude ranches, horse riding etc. Some activities like hiking cycling, backpacking can fit into both hard and soft activities depending on the destination. Like Ecotourism, adventure tourism is an area that is experiencing large growth as people's appetite for ever newer and more unique experiences changes. Data for this area is likely to be contained within the larger publications on travel and tourism like the World Trade Organization's Tourism 2020 Vision and may even at times be grouped with ecotourism.


There are cruise lines operating in many locations. Typically in the U.S. we think of the Caribbean, but there are cruises of the Alaska Coast, the Mediterranean, etc. There is even a cruise along the Yangtze River sponsored by Viking River Cruises. This industry, much like airlines, can be heavily dependent on world events. 9/11 and SARS hit this industry hard as did the Norwalk virus, though the industry now seems to be recovering from these events.

According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) since 1970, the industry has experienced a 2,100% growth rate, with the number of people taking a cruise rising from an estimated 500,000 people in 1970 to more than 12 million in 2006. Part of the growth of this industry, in addition to increased popularity is the increase in capacity. CLIA numbers show that in the 1980's and 1990s roughly 120 news ships were built and since 2000 over 100 new ships have been introduced. This capacity is likely to increase because demand is there. 4

Cruise lines are expanding their menu of activities. Included can be theme trips, activities for all ages, and classes in everything from cooking to financial management to please those travelers wanting more options, more time with loved ones, and/or fewer hassles. The Queen Mary 2 has a planetarium while the Royal Caribbean's Voyager has an ice rink and rock climbing wall. While most travelers tend to be older, cruises like those offered from Disney, are increasingly being seen as family trips, so there has been a large increase in the numbers of children on cruises. There are even all-kosher luxury cruises and a cruise with "jam bands" and marathon concerts for the twentysomethings. 5

Carnival, which owns Princess, Holland America and Cunard lines, is the world's largest cruise company with Royal Caribbean as its closest competitor. Disney is also popular especially for families with young children.

Gaming / Gambling

Gaming/gambling has seen a steady annual increase every year since at least 1995 with numbers declining in 2008 that coincided with the financial crisis and recession.6 In the United States, the top five largest markets for 2006 by revenue are: Las Vegas Strip with $6.689 billion, followed by Atlantic City with $5.508 billion, Chicagoland, Ind./Ill. with $2.595 billion, Connecticut with $1.734 billion and Detroit with $1.303 billion. Other destinations are: the St. Louis area and Kansas City in Missouri; Reno/Sparks, Boulder Strip, and downtown Las Vegas in Nevada; Shreveport, Lake Charles, and New Orleans in Louisiana; Tunica/Lula and the Gulf Coast in Mississippi. Many Native American Reservations have gambling. These can be found in California, Louisiana, Texas, etc. These destinations are having to compete with those states that have legalized slot machines — though not necessarily gambling.

A rapidly expanding segment of the gaming/gambling industry are establishments run by the various Native American tribes, which increasingly are being patronized by both destination and day trip travelers. While the great recession that began in 2007/2008 had an impact gaming on reservation casinos still did well and 2010 accounted for 44% of casino gaming revenue in 2010 at a total of 448 gaming facilities.7


One growing area of tourism has come to be known as voluntourism (sometimes referred to as volunteer travel). This combines the traditional aspects of tourism with voluntary service. In some cases, it is related to sustainable tourism and sometime ecotourism. While the concept has been around for many years, has seen rapid growth in more recent years as seen by the many efforts to rebuild after hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and the earthquake in Haiti. TRAM in their 2008 report “Volunteer Tourism: A Global Analysis” estimated that worldwide voluntourism activities included 1.6 individuals who spent about $2 billion. As it is sometimes associated with individuals from wealthier countries going to and work in lesser developed countries, it is not without controversy.

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Selected Print Resources

Buckley, Ralf. Adventure Tourism. Wallingford, Oxon, UK ; Cambridge, MA, USA : CABI Pub., c2006.
LC Call Number: G516 .B83 2006     (Note: In process at LC as of May 2008)
LC Catalog Record: 2005037063
Table of Contents
Publisher's Description

Covers commercial adventure tourism products across a range of adventure tourism sectors.

Cartwright, Robert and Carolyn Baird. The Development and Growth of the Cruise Industry. Oxford : Butterworth-Heinemann, 1999.
LC Call Number: G550 .C33 1999
LC Catalog Record: 00687303
Table of Contents

Cohan, Andrew. "Voluntourism: The Human Side of Sustainable Tourism." HVS International Journal (June 2010): 1-7

An article that looks at the socio-cultural aspects of sustainable tourism and voluntourism, the integration of volunteer service work with tourism.

Compendium of Lottery Statistics. Boyds, MD : TLF Publications
LC Call Number: HG6126 .C66
LC Catalog Record: 92658661

Compiled by Terri La Fleur. Related to the various lottery and gambling/gaming almanacs printed by TLF Publications.

Croce, Erica and Giovanni Perri Food and Wine Tourism : Integrating Food, Travel and Territory. Second edition. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK ; Boston, MA : CABI is a trading name of CAB International, [2017]
LC Call Number: G155.A1 C74513 2017
LC Catalog Record: 2016052949

This title explores how regions present themselves to tourists through food and wine they produce. It leans toward giving practical suggestions and guidelines.

Cruise Industry News: International Guide to the Cruise Industry. New York, NY : Nissen-Lie Communications, 1988 - present.
LC Call Number: G550 .C79
LC Catalog Record: 96642201
Publisher's Web Site External Link

This newsletter is aimed at managers of cruise lines, shipyards, ports, as well as financial analysts, and other industry decision makers. The publisher also issues a quarterly magazine.

Davis, Jeffrey Sasha and Duarte B. Morais. "Factions and Enclaves: Small Towns and Socially Unsustainable Tourism Development " Journal of Travel Research. August 2004 vol. 43 iss. 1 p.3 (8).
LC Call Number: G155.A1 T6576
LC Catalog Record: 77647048

"Pressured by the decline of extractive industries and agriculture, many small towns are trying to acquire a share of the tourism industry. While some communities decide to develop tourism from within their towns, often rural places turn to large-scale privately owned tourism enterprises to act as engines of economic development. While many studies have examined how tourism can have negative social impacts in rural communities, few studies detail how rural communities' attitudes toward tourism can suffer when locals feel alienated from planning/development decisions. In this study, the authors examined data from participant observation and semi-structured interviews in Williams, Arizona, to determine whether changes in community attitudes toward tourism followed patterns suggested by the established theoretical models of social carrying capacity and community adaptation to a social disruption. We found that Williams is a case where the fast pace of tourism development causes community attitudes toward tourism to decline over time." (Publisher-supplied abstract.)

Dickinson, Bob and Andy Vladimir. Selling the Sea: An Inside Look at the Cruise Industry. ed. Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, c2007.
LC Call Number: G550 .D53 2007 (Note: Not available at the Library of Congress as of May 2008)
LC Catalog Record: 2006022537
Table of Contents
Publisher's Description
Publisher-Supplied Biographical Information

FAA Aerospace Forecasts. Washington, D.C. : U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Aviation Policy and Plans, 1999 - present.
LC Call Number: HE9803.A1 O36a
LC Catalog Record: 2001234715
Online editions (available from 2000 to 2030)

Contains information on U.S. and international air travel markets as well projections. Beginning with the 2003 edition, there is a chapter devoted to Commercial Space Transportation.

Gartner William C. "Rural Tourism Development in the USA," The International Journal of Tourism Research. Chichester: May/June 2004.Vol.6, Iss. 3; pg. 151
LC Call Number: G155.A1 I5165
LC Catalog Record: sn 98000556

"This paper reviews some of the history of rural tourism development in North America with most of the attention paid to the USA's experience, with some examples from Canada. The reason for this is the huge economic difference between the two countries with respect to tourism flows and impacts. In reviewing the history of rural development in the USA, the argument is made that most developments are unplanned and result from market and economic forces that have greatly transformed the American rural landscape. It is also shown that rural destinations are used, primarily, by local tourists and do not, with few exceptions, cater to an international clientele." (Publisher-supplied Abstract)

Harrah's Survey of Casino Entertainment. Memphis, Tenn. : Harrah's Casinos, [1995 - present.]
LC Call Number: HV6715 .H373
LC Catalog Record: 96648195 (March 1995 - present)
LC Catalog Record: 96648012 (Preceding title: Harrah's survey of U.S. casino entertainment. ? - 1994)

Insight: The Journal of the North American Gambling Industry. [New Gloucester, Me.] : Christiansen Capital Advisors, LLC
LC Call Number: HV6715 .I57
LC Catalog Record: 2004204870

Christiansen Capital Advisors LLC External Link is a research firm specializing in the gaming industry. The company also publishes a free daily newspaper.

International Gaming & Wagering Business. New York, N.Y. : BMT Publications, 1990 - present.
LC Call Number: HV6715 .G295
LC Catalog Record: 94648010

Now called "IGWB" and begun in 1984 as "Gaming & Wagering Business," the title is a biweekly magazine covering the gaming industry. Formerly "International Gaming & Wagering Business."

Journal of Sustainable Tourism. Taylor & Francis. External Link

This title is included in several subscription databases: ABI-Inform/ProQuest, Taylor & Francis Online, and Business Source Complete (EBSCO).

McGehee, Nancy Gard, David Clemmons, Kathleen Andereck, and Seungwoo Lee. "Experience Expectations of Prospective Volunteer Tourists." Journal of Travel Research, March vol. 51 no. 2 (2012) 130-141.

Results of a survey to explore the experience expectations and preferences of prospective volunteer tourists (voluntourists).

McGehee, Nancy Gard. "Volunteer Tourism: Evolution, Issues and Futures." Journal Of Sustainable Tourism 22, no. 6 (2014): 847-854.

This paper reviews the 30-year evolution of volunteer tourism as phenomenon, industry, and research area, charting changes in the size, breadth, definition, and the perceived positive and negative contributions of the volunteer tourism industry.

Page, Stephen and Joanne Connell, eds. Sustainable Tourism. London ; New York : Routledge, 2008.
LC Call Number: G156.5.E26 S86 2008
LC Catalog Record: 2007025340
Table of Contents

This is a collection of articles by various authors in multiple parts and volumes:
Part 1 Evolution of Sustainability;
Part 2 Precursors of the Sustainable Tourism Concept;
Part 3 Defining and Conceptualising Sustainable Tourism;
Part 4 Environmental Perspectives;
Part 5 Social and Cultural Perspectives;
Part 6 Economic, Political and Developing World Perspectives;
Part 7: Sustainable Tourism Destination Development;
Part 8 Developments in the Tourism Industry;
Part 9 The Sustainable Tourist?;
Part 10 Community Involvement in Sustainable Tourism;
Part 11 Planning and Policy for Sustainable Tourism.

Rogers, Mark. "Voluntourism is on the Rise. (cover story)." Travel Agent 331, no. 3 (2007): 20-24.

This story is about the concept of voluntourism tourism for those travelers who seek a more meaningful experience doing community outreach project like building homes and schools to environment-related projects.

Slocum, Susan L. and Carol Kline, eds. Linking urban and rural tourism : strategies in sustainability. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK ; Boston, MA, USA : CABI, 2017.
LC Call Number: G156.5.S87 L57 2017
LC Catalog Record: 2016057956

This title looks at regional strategies for coordinating and integrating to support and enhance the tourism product.

Swarbrooke, John, et al. Adventure Tourism. Oxford ; Boston : Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003.
LC Call Number: G155.A1 A29 2003
LC Catalog Record: 2002043900
Table of Contents
Publisher's Description

Weaver, David B. Sustainable Tourism: Theory and Practice. Amsterdam ; Boston : Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 2006.
LC Call Number: G156.5.E26 W435 2006
LC Catalog Record: 2006272776
Publisher's Description

This title is primarily a textbook for students but is also targeted to destination, site and/or enterprise managers. In addition to interesting charts/graphs that are important for managers, the book also includes statistical data and links to Internet web sites and further reading. Includes an 18 page references list.

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Selected Internet Resources

AgMRC Agricultural Marketing Resource Center External Link

This web site is for businesses in the agricultural area and covers traditional and "nontraditional" areas of business and profit for agriculturally based businesses. Covers the areas of: Nature-based Tourism; Equine Agri Tourism; Nature-based Tourism; and Wine Tours. The Agritourism overview includes statistics from several states including Hawaii, Montana, Vermont and links to various other resources.

Agritourism World External Link

Directory of agritourism destinations organized by type of destination.

American Gaming Association External Link

Publishes industry information; addresses federal legislative and regulatory issues affecting its members and their employees and customers, as well as travel and tourism matters.

AgriTourism by Blacka, Aaron, Charles Coale, John Dooley, Andy Hankins, Ann Lastovica, Charlotte Reed, and Muzzo Uysal.
Virginia State University. Virginia Cooperative Extension. External Link

Includes information for students and managers of destinations.

National Household Travel Survey. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. U.S. Department of Transportation.

This survey is published approximately every five years and cover all aspects of travel. As an example of the relevant data, the 2001 version has tables: "Figure 12 - Proportion of Long-Distance Trips by Purpose" and "Table A-14 - Vehicle Occupancy Per Vehicle Mile by Daily Trip Purpose"

Casino Journal. External Link

Center for Rural Pennsylvania External Link

While most of the information on this site is not related to tourism, there are several reports of interest, including: "Agritourism in Pennsylvania: An Industry Assessment "(2006); "Pennsylvania Ecotourism: Untapped Potential" (1995); "Moving Heritage Tourism Forward in Pennsylvania" (2001); and "Tourism: An Economic Strategy for Rural Pennsylvania" (1993).

Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) External Link

The Center for Responsible Travel, or CREST (formerly CESD) is a bi-coastal institute that offers programs, conferences, courses, and research projects as well as field research opportunities in order to improve the social and environmental committments of responsible tourism, as well as to promote sustainable practices and principles within the wider tourism industry.

City Mayors External Link

Includes information on urban tourism. Articles examine the importance of tourism to city economies. Case studies, such as the published article on Cologne and on Civic Tourism, illustrate cities' efforts and achievements in promoting international tourism and increasing visitor spending.

Comparative Data Report on Gaming: Submitted to the Fiscal Affairs and Governmental Operations Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments.
Jefferson City, MO : Joint Committee on Legislative Research, Missouri General Assembly,
2001 External Link [PDF Format: 3.3 MB / 82 p.]
2002 External Link [PDF Format: 339 KB / 98 p.]

Cruise Lines International Association External Link

The regulatory area of this site has a pressroom/research section with several industry related items. First is the Cruise Industry Source Book that contains facts about CLIA, cruise line profiles, fleets listed by ship and by line, CLIA committees and other contacts. Second is the Cruise Industry Overview with Market/growth statistics, market potential, cruisers, vacation comparison, destination sampling, cruise prospects, source of business, North American port embarkations. Lastly is CLIA Market Research with the 2006 Market Profile Study, and the CLIA 2005 Economic Impact Study. In 2002 the International Council of Cruise Lines merged into the CLIA.

Environmental News Network External Link

Covers the whole environmental movement including ecotourism.

Gaming Floor External Link

An online resource for casino trade and industry news. Follows online and international gaming stocks. Links to associations and organizations in the industry as well as to research centers and commissions and gambling boards in the US (including US Indian), Asia, Africa, Europe, Caribbean, and South America, along with world-wide regulatory & legal bodies.

Green Globe External Link

Green Globe, established in 1994 by the World Travel & Tourism Council, is the worldwide benchmarking and certification program for the travel and tourism industry. Covers: China, Japan, New Zealand, and South America.

The International EcoTourism Society External Link

The Resources section has an Online Library which is a searchable database of tourism-related publications (in PDF format). There is also a section, TIES Research and Publications, which includes descriptions of TIES' latest research and the publications resulting from that research and a News area with a listing of recent happenings in ecotourism and sustainable tourism. The Resources section includes information specific to volunteering opportunities.

Kahn, Carrie. "As 'Voluntourism' Explodes In Popularity, Who's It Helping Most?" NPR broadcast on July 31, 2014. External Link

This includes the recorded broadcast as well as a written story.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Quasi-governmental agency that serves as a marketing organization; operates the Las Vegas Convention Center and publishes data pertaining to the Las Vegas area.

McGray, Douglas "The Rise in Voluntourism" Travel+Leisure February, 2004. External Link

Missouri Department of Agriculture

Includes links to general agritourism resources as well as links to relevant associations and organizations.

National Indian Gaming Association External Link

Established in 1985, the organization offers legislative and public policy resources on Indian gaming issues and tribal community development on its web site, as well as publications and quick facts.

National Gambling Impact Study Commission External Link

The Commission concluded its two year work and produced a final report on the social and economic impact of legalized gambling in the United States. The site includes an archive of the National Gambling Impact and Policy Commission's final report, recommendations, research, meetings, and related information about the commission and its work. Also includes a gambling statutes database.

National Maritime Administration. U. S. Department of Transportation.

The agency publishes titles such a "North American Cruises" and "U.S. Water Transportation Statistical Snapshot."

Office of Science & Technology Policy

This office advises the President and others within the Executive Office of the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs.

Public Gaming Research Institute External Link

Offers information sources on public gaming, lotteries. Publishes "Public Gaming International" and other information sources.

Tourism Association of Southwest Tennessee External Link

Includes links to agri-tourism sites including fairs, farm tours, festivals, exhibits, exotic animals, stables, seasonal harvests and more.

U.S. Travel Association External Link

Travel Industry Association and Travel Business Roundtable came together to form the U.S. Travel Association, an association for travel and tourism industry which works to advance policies that grow the travel business. Provides research products on various travel business topics.

University of California. Davis - Small Farm Center External Link

Includes the California Agritourism Database which is part of the Agricultural Tourism Project. The database provides visitors and potential entrepreneurs with information about existing agritourism locations throughout the state.

U.S. Agricultural Library Rural Information Center

Provides links to tourism organizations and federal agencies, planning information, best practices, funding programs, state tourism offices, data, and online publication on rural tourism. It has planning information, links, best practices/case studies, publications and statistics. Also include a Promote Rural Tourism publication. Some statistics can also be found at the National Agricultural Statistics Service. For additional resources at the USDA try the Natural Resources Conservation Service which as the publication Alternative Enterprises and Agritourism: Farming for Profit and Sustainability Resource Manual, the National Extension Tourism Information Clearinghouse, and the Economic Research Service.

U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) External Link

The USCM has a standing committee and Issue area Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment & Sports which studies the issue of travel and tourism in urban areas. They conduct surveys and produce reports like one from 2002 they did with DRI-WEFA U.S. Metro Economies: Travel and Tourism Fuels the Nation's Economy [PDF Format: 156 KB / 24 p.] and in 2017 published a survey of mayors about how the hotel industry is vital to local economies. External Link

This is a website devoted to finding opportunities and providing assistance on logistics as well as providing other information for those that are interested. Includes the newsletter VolunTourist and will publish The Voluntourism Research Anthology: 2005 – 2012.

Volunteer Tourism: A Global Analysis. TRAM, January 2008. External Link

This is an analysis of the demand and supply of volunteer tourism opportunities. This research report is for purchase only.

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Library of Congress Catalog Searches

Additional encyclopedias and dictionaries on this topic in the Library of Congress may be identified by searching the Online Catalog under appropriate Library of Congress subject headings. Choose the topics you wish to search from the following list of Library of Congress subject headings to link directly to the Catalog and automatically execute a search for the subject selected. Please be aware that during periods of heavy use you may encounter delays in accessing the catalog. Please see the individual sections of this guide for catalog searches relating to those topics. For assistance in locating other subject headings which relate to this subject, please consult a reference librarian.

  Adventure travel   Space industrialization
  Cruise ships   Space tourism
  Ecotourism   Ocean travel
  Gambling   Outer space--Civilian use
  Gambling industry   Volunteer tourism

 1. "EcoTourism: Definition and Principles," International Ecotourism Society External Link    

 2. "Fact Sheet: Global EcoTourism." International Ecotourism Society, p. 2. External Link     [PDF Format: 237 KB / 6 pp.]

 3. Agri-Tourism. Aaron Blacka, Charles Coale, John Dooley, Andy Hankins, Ann Lastovica, Charlotte Reed, and Muzzo Uysal. 2001. Virginia State University. Virginia Cooperative Extension. External Link

 4. Cruise Industry Source Book. Cruise Lines International Association, 2013. External Link [PDF format: 1.17 MB/ 82 pp.]

 5. "Queen Mary 2 handed to owners." CNN, December 22, 2003. External Link    

 6. Gaming Revenue: 10-Year Trend. American Gaming Association External Link

 7. National Indian Gaming Association External Link

Last Updated: 09/28/2018

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