Types of tourists -What type of tourist are you?

It makes a difference how you feel on this planet Earth: a citizen, a temporary tourist, or an exotic cast-away..

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Tourist Personality Type – Finding Destinations and Places that Interest YOU.

So, what types of tourist would you consider is your category?

Personality travel is simply a description of matching your personality type with the type of vacation you would most enjoy.

I have an eclectic group of friends and family who have so many diverse interests that I think I could send them all in different directions on planet earth to discover and satiate that interest.

There are so many types of travel for different travel types, if you know what I mean..One of my mates is a fun loving, somewhat crazy individual, and in my opinion,  a suicidal type personality who totally gets off on endangering his life at almost every opportunity.

How he has survived into his early 40’s, I have no clue. He is an adrenaline junkie of note. He has probably indulged in most of all the extreme activities I know of. But that’s Johnno…hell bent on self-destruction if that is what it takes to get his high.

Another good friend, Cassandra, is a quiet and reserved woman in her early thirties who loves nature and all things natural. Her biggest frustration was that she was not born and raised in the 60’s grooving to Jim Morrison and Janice Joplin.

Her ideal kind of vacation would be seeking out small lost in time places out in the countryside.

travel on the roadI am guessing a road trip in a VW van with an old eight-track player slamming out The Association’s “Never My Love” while cruising down the road would be her Nirvana.

I could go on as I psycho-analyze all my close friends and family. But suffice to say, everyone has their own thing.

Do you see why any travel guide article should be a suggestion tool only?

Too many people I speak to on tour, groan at the sight of another church or town square.

Why? Because they signed up for some package that looked enticing by its quantity of places of interest destinations and, of course, it was not really anything they were truly interested in.

Places of disinterest seemed the theme for their day on tour.

Which tourist personality type do you think you are?

The types of tourists are many and varied. Spend a day at an airport or a train station and you’ll be able to identify a few of these types of tourists.

Quickly, you will realize that their choice of tourism is as unique as they are. What types of tourists would you think you’d connect with? 

Finding out what kind of tourist or traveler you really are is the gateway to identifying just what types of tourism you could enjoy or those that may have a practical aspect to your needs and life.

To help you, here’s a list of the main types of travel personalities that are out there. Of course, you may find that you could be many, perhaps all of them and the crossovers would be easier for you.

Adventure Travel to thrill

Types of travel

This can be anything, really. Going to a place like Morocco and living in the Medina – now that’s an adventure. I did that in 2017. What an incredible experience! So much foreign to the home and European culture I knew.

Other ideas of adventure travel may include –   A safari in Africa, ballooning over Turkey, scuba diving in the Maldives, cruising to Antartica, travels to Iceland or Greenland….It really doesn’t have to be life-threatening to be an adventure. 

Exploration is the key, discovering new things that might stretch you a little more than the norm. 

To me, an adventure is simply interesting places to see outside of my comfort zone

Adrenaline Exploits

thrill seeking adventures

Thrill seeker

Like my friend Johnno, you just may be the type to walk the fine line to feel alive. Well, the world is full of the tame and the dangerous grading of adrenaline travel. Tandem skydiving over Cozumel was my one–and- only dip into the dangerous currents of the adrenaline world. Strapped with a small Mexican on my back, I plummeted to earth at terminal velocity and tried to enjoy the experience.

All the skydiver ever said to me was “Relaxxx…it ees going too beee fine. Comprende?” He was yelling stuff at 10 000, 9 000, 8000 feet but I could not hear a thing.

The one thing I was fixated on was “What if this guy blacks out or has a heart attack…I’m roadkill.” Am I pleased I did it? Sure. Would I do it again? No chance!

But I’m chicken on things I have no control over – like hurtling to earth with a yelling Mexican strapped to my back.

Of course, there are a great many crazy things you can select to do.

Heli-Skiing in Alaska, Canyon jumping someplace…(when you wear a bird suit and fly ) White water rafting, Cave Diving…..and so much more. Choose your poison and off you go.

Chill Places to Space Out

 Relaxed and slower paced

The first thing that may spring to mind is a luxury spa facility with head, body and foot massages, meditation, yoga,  healthy food and crisp mountain air to breath. Why not? For the hardworking executive or stay at home mum or dad, this is really a great self-reward.

Getting to do a lot of nothing other than being pampered or pursuing inner peace is awesome. . But it could also extend beyond the obvious. Some people opt to just do the thing that they love.

Their total chill-out is following their passion in an environment that is relaxing to them. This is their specific places of interest and would not be found in some travelogue.

Some go to Paris and hire a studio to paint, others go to Italy and live on an olive farm while they write.

There was a guy I met who was a pigeon enthusiast. For him, the ultimate relaxation was going to the pigeon shows held in the UK. That was his chill. Whatever juices you can be a chill out and the environment just simply needs to match.

Cultural Insights and Surprises

Spiritual, curious

Cultural travel is an immersive type of endeavor.  This is really about getting into that interesting place to visit but making more of it. Getting the details and paying attention to the real aspects of the culture you’re witnessing and not just standing on the sidelines with a camera.

 It’s about the museums, the art, the music, the food and just relinquishing all aspects of home and embracing the new culture whilst you are there. I particularly love that kind of travel.

Food and Drink - journeys of discovery

 Passionate and hungry

Foodie travel is a big thing these days. If you like the food and drink aspect of travel, you’ll certainly love doing a foodie package or creating one for yourself.

This can involve just simply going to local restaurants and tasting the dishes of the region whilst drinking the local wine. It can be more than just a restaurant visit. 

Trying out the street food is a big attraction to the real food tourist.You can go on cookery lessons, learning how to prepare that ultimate regions dish, go to the factories and the bakeries where all the delicious fare is prepared.There are endless joys to be had for the gastronomic enthusiast.

The Heritage Journey

Reflective, inquisitive

Whether it is travel to discover your genealogy and trace your roots or simply a wish to understand more about the history and origins of a region or place, this is a great type of vacation to take. Europe naturally is the place where you will find the greatest concentration of heritage places of interest.

Tourist attractions with the UNESCO heritage sites along the rivers, in the cities and the towns of Europe.If you have a fascination for learning, understanding and evolving your knowledge, a trip with the emphasis on heritage would definitely be one for you.

One with Nature

Naturalist, spiritual, peaceful and loving

Nature travel could be just going camping in the great outdoors, or hiking through Alaska (with bear repellent) in the summer months. Perhaps going on a  trip to take in the whale watching. It is certainly something that requires patience and a certain stillness of being. Incidentally, if I can just make a proud boast of my homeland – Hermanus in the beautiful South African Cape is rated as having some of the best land-based whale watching in the world.

Places of interest could also include Australia’s Barrier Reef, or how about a trek to the land of mud-lovers? Just 65 kilometers south of  Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, you will discover the fascination of the Gobustan’s mud volcanoes – a place that one would imagine represents an alien Martian landscape as thick gray mud erupts in squirts of slush from small volcanoes. Roman inscriptions are to be found in this region. The Romans were all about natures natural cures such as thermal baths or mud. No surprise to see locals and tourists taking a mud bath.

Roughing it Economy Style

cheap travel
 Adventurer, possibly frugal, self challenging

Touring el cheapo style. Staying in hostels, cheap motels, and hotels, hiring a shack on the beach, living urban. It is probably not the most appealing thing to most people to consider living rough while traveling.

The idea of flea-infested mattresses or dormitories lined with mainly young, probably partied out bodies, sprawled out in hangover oblivion across beds may not have any appeal. Fair enough. But roughing it does not have to go down to that extreme.

If you can accept that there will be no maid or room service and probably a lack of any amenities, beyond a bathroom, the world does offer modest and clean accommodation and great places to visit.

Budget vacations are great way to travel if you are on the move, are not demanding of creature home comforts and simply decide that a bed is a bed and a roof over your head is good enough. Modest and clean accommodation at the third if not more of the price of a reasonable hotel is available to you.

Geek Style

vacations for geeks
 Geeky and proud of it

These days, being the Geek is ‘finesse’. You’re smart, sassy and have a high score on the cool charts. No shame in being a stay-at-homer if you’re a gamer. But, you need to get out there and there are vacations that are stylin’ just for you. Check out vacations for geeks

So, now you have identified your personality travel profile, what types of tourists category do you think you fit into?


Within this website, I am constantly emphasizing the need to make our travel choices according to what resonates with us. 

Naturally, we have to make some compromises along the way, in respect to our family, partner or traveling companions. However, the essential value in travel is to connect with and do the things that excite you.

As much as a no-brainer that may sound, it really isn’t. Most of us choose a vacation because it looks like something we would like.

However, do we honestly  give serious thought to whether it is? A case in point –  You know you get motion sickness but you choose a package tour that involves long motor coach rides.

Or perhaps, you decide to go on a cruise and find that you are sea-sick the entire time.

It is very easy to have these kind of oversights and quickly discover your hard spent money and valuable vacation time is spent in either misery or leaving you with a mediocre experience.

Business Tourists

Obviously business tourism is what it says. People on business, traveling to countries and continents  to conduct business on behalf of their companies.

However, business travelers have now started to evolve into one of the new types of tourists. The term is “bleisure”.

business travel

A bleisure tourist really is that business person who is including the leisure aspects of tourism in their travels.

Most discover money is tight. Budgets can be severe. Additionally, there are the time constraints that are levied on professional people.

It makes sense that the trend is towards making ones business travels into something of a leisure travel too. This is essentially known as a “bizcation.

Changing Times in business travel

Times have moved on. The Monday to Friday mindset of their parents is lost on the Millennial work force. Business and leisure is a bit of a blurred mix for the new professional generation.

As a result , overseas trips or in-country travels for work are being self-rewarded with a weekend at the end of the trip.

Similarly, a choice of combining annual vacation leave with the destination they traveled to. If their company is flexible, this would mean that the business traveler can now save money on airfares.

Furthermore, in the case of a couple, one airfare may be paid, so the spouse can fly out and meet their partner at the destination.

Meanwhile , if the businessperson is a frequent flyer, the air-miles accumulated in business travel might go towards the airfare of the spouse.

Food Tourist

Food tourism is big. Naturally, it is about eating and drinking. However, it is not only about the gourmet delights.

In the purest sense, culinary tourism or food tourism is really about the inclusion of the interest of food and drink.

However, it is not meant as the exclusion of everything else. Vacationers travel to see new things, witness other cultures, hear other languages spoken. 

The goal is to look to be captivated by something foreign. Essentially, a deeper understanding of a culture is brought about by sampling the traditional dishes,

Adventure Tourists

Adventure tourism adds the spice to your travels. The adventure tourist does not have to be hurtling at terminal velocity towards earth in a skydive, however, or dangling hundreds of feet off the ground on some bungee cord to qualify as an adventure traveler.

In short, you can still be an adventurer without risking killing yourself. Sure, the adrenaline junkie may opt for the more dangerous aspects of this kind of travel. 

Besides, adventure to you could be as simple as breaking out of your comfort zone and doing something different. Maybe a balloon safari or some kayaking?

The Eco Tourist


They call them tourists with a conscience. Perhaps you would be one of these types of tourists.

eco tourism and conservationIf you are someone who lives green, drives a hybrid or electric car, has a house that runs on natural power in the form of solar panels or wind turbine, this would be your type of tourism.

However, these days, while many have not completely adopted the green lifestyle, there are many who are consciously aware of their carbon footprint.

Ecotourism has a wide ranging appeal, varying in age and economic status.

These are the people who care about their environment, are concerned with climate change and actively seek out ways to lessen their personal impact on the earth’s delicate ecological balance.

When deciding on a vacation, these types of tourists would be looking to find authentic local and regional experiences to be involved in.

Primarily their concern will be how they travel to the destination, how low they could keep their own carbon footprint and what minimal impact they could have on the environment they visit.

In fact, Eco-tourism extends further. In particular, the voluntourist  is someone who gives their time and resources to assist the community they visit.

Event Tourists

Motivated by an event in another country, another State or region, these are the types of tourists who travel expressly to witness an event.

The event traveler is not traveling for the same reason most of us travel. These tourists are going to a destination for a specific purpose. They are going to see a particular event.

event touristIn this case, it could be a music festival, a trade fair, an exhibition, or a sports event. The point is, this is a target oriented tourist. This is someone with a mission.

Usually, the event tourist would book a year in advance. They would be making sure that they had the tickets for the occasion and the flights and accommodation arranged.

Conversely, events such as music concerts and festivals may be more spontaneous decisions with a much shorter run up to the happening.

The event tourist is really the “on demand” tourist. In other words, when the occasion arises, they travel.

Religious Tourists

Tourism that focuses on religion is very much like that of event tourism. It is an event that people seek out. Naturally, the event would be about their faith.

The whole reason for going to a destination would be to visit a landmark pertaining to their faith. For instance, it could be a Cathedral or Monastery they go to.

Perhaps visiting the holy city of Jerusalem or heading off to the Vatican.  Maybe their choice would be Varanasi in India.

For example, the religious traveler may be taking part in an annual pilgrimage such as Hajj in Mecca.

There are literally thousands of religious festivals that someone of devout faith would be committed to go to.

traveling for religion

Leisure Tourists

The category of leisure tourist  describes the mainstream of tourism. This is the umbrella under which many niche types of travel stem from.

 A leisure tourist is someone who looks to have a break from the real world. This is a visitor who wants to indulge in a fantasy of relaxation and carefree pleasure.

A pursuit of all things we cannot get easily at home. Fun and excitement, seeing new things, rest and relaxation are the staple of these types of tourists.

Usually, leisure travel becomes the broader canvas of niche types of tourists pursuits. Heritage and cultural pursuits may be a part of the leisure menu.

Certainly food and drink is involved, and perhaps aspects such as religious tourism may come into play when visiting a country,  for example, Israel or India.

In summary, leisure tourism is the broader brush strokes of travel experiences all rolled up in one. It could be a hotel or resort, a B&B, a camping trip. Actually, it could be pretty much anything you would like it to be.

leisure tourist

Medical Tourists

 Many countries offer a specialty in the medical field. Even though residents may already  have access to the medical treatments of another country, they could opt to travel. Why?

The reputation of the host country in a specific medical field could be a reason to travel there for treatment. Or perhaps, it is a budgetary consideration.  In many cases, the cost saving by traveling elsewhere can be a big factor.

medical travel

Locations such as Serbia and the Czech Republic are renowned for dental work skills.

Brazil is known for offering relatively inexpensive plastic surgery, Panama is lauded for cheaper health care. Turkey has a solid reputation for eye specialist care.

The advantages of Medical Tourism

There is a long list of destinations that offer many travelers a reason to travel for health and cosmetic reasons.

When people look at a medical “vacation”, the cost saving in other parts of the world is massive – sometimes 40-60% cheaper than in their own country.

Certainly, the standard of care would require a lot of due diligence and research to travel to another country.

However, these types of tourists would enjoy a mix of leisure vacation while they recover post-op or take time out to vacation while they have their medical needs attended to.


Cultural Tourists

cultural tourism

Cultural travel is an immersive type of endeavor. This is really about getting to the destination but making more of it.

Hence, it’s all in the details and paying attention to the real aspects of the culture you’re witnessing. Consequently, it is not just standing on the sidelines with a camera.

What are cultural tourists?

Cultural tourists are all about the museums, the art, local music, the culture and the food. These types of tourists relinquish all aspects of home.

They embrace the new culture while they are there. Personally, I particularly love this kind of travel.

Generally, this tourist type adore to travel and absorb the real sense of different cultures.

If you are a cultural traveler you will be interested in the language, food and traditions of every place you visit.

Traveling, with culture in mind, is less about seeking out the tourist landmarks and areas.

Conversely , it is a search of understanding with more interest in the people. Big cities are traded for a small town festival or witnessing how a certain art or skill of the people is performed in a rural setting,

Communities that would never have seen a tourist in their region are now enjoying the free spending visitors.

Heritage Journey Tourists

Whether it is travel to discover your genealogy and trace your roots or simply a wish to understand more about the history and origins of a region or place, this is a great type of vacation to take.

heritage travel tourismEurope naturally is the place where you will find the greatest concentration of heritage places of interest.

Tourist attractions are many with the UNESCO heritage sites along the rivers, in the cities and the towns of Europe.

If you have a fascination for learning, understanding and evolving your knowledge, a trip with the emphasis on heritage would definitely be one for you.


Weird types of tourism

As explained at the top of the article. We are all as diverse as the parts of planet earth that we visit. Certainly, there are many other types of tourists seeking their own particular kind of travel. New buzzwords and tags are being given to almost everything you can think of. Actually, the tourism types you find as sub-culture niche markets nowadays are quite bizarre.

War Tourists

Insanity does exist! If you love adrenaline rushes, get a kick out of ducking and diving to avoid real bullets, then you may be one of those people who could go for this.

The idea of being a war tourist is for the participant to enter an active war zone and observe the carnage.

During the Afghanistan conflicts, many people did go as war tourists to witness the war zones.

Sadly, a few were killed and some returned home maimed. A less dangerous aspect of this type of tourism is visiting inactive aftermath war zones. WW2 and more recent battle grounds are more mainstream

Shark tourist

Compared to War Tourism, this activity is certainly a lot safer. The shark tourist is all about watching sharks in their natural habitat.

It is a relatively safe sport and not only confined to watching the Great Whites.

Most people, who are part of this travel sector, enjoy watching other species of shark as well. Of course, the grand prize is a shark cage dive with the Great White’s coming nose to nose to the diver.

However, this is a controversial practice. As a result of  ‘churning’ the water with fish blood and guts as bait to attract the sharks, it is obviously attracting sharks to the area.

Fertility Tourists

Among the more bizarre types of tourist types, fertility tourism is one that makes sense. It really is a subset of medical tourism.

Couples would normally seek this out to save the high costs of going through sperm donation and fertility procedures in their own country.

It is a totally legal pursuit, however, critics of this argue that there is a certain immoral aspect to seeking  a certain physical attribute in another cultures bloodline that the couple would like for their child.

A warped sense of ‘designer kids’ can be an inherent danger..


Dark Tourism

dark tourism

From the many subset categories of types of tourists, comes the off-beat dark side.

These are the dark tourists who are interested in the Occult, death, massacre and horror. They have a fascination in learning of tragedy and carnage.

Many such tourists would be keen to visit places where death occurred en masse or visit the landmarks of bloody historic value.

Somewhat macabre, this tourist type is actually popular. Certainly I try to avoid judging types who enjoy this aspect of tourism. But that’s not easy..

All such horror travel would fall under this category. The lighter side of this would be the more spooky sites with stories of Dracula and eerie places to visit.

More reads

#Me Tourists

Group travel with the Millennial’s is changing fast. Gone are the days of young people going out looking for just the party spots.

Now they want landmarks. Technology has brought about the #Me traveler. Selfie sticks and Instagram and Facebook have started the narcissistic urges to photograph oneself and instantly post it.

The addiction is to receive as many likes and thumbs-up they can with each photo. So, now it’s about doing the goldfish lips puckering of lips and snapping away with the cellphone on a selfie stick. Goal = have your face in the foreground and some famous or beautiful landmark in the background.

In conclusion, it seems that there is a growing industry of tourism that is providing for a whole host of tastes of all types of tourists.

With some research and time, you can always be guaranteed to find exactly what you are looking for this next vacation.

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