Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt
International Tourism Management


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 Definitions - some examples

Etymological: tour - tornare (Latin) tornos (Greek) - Lathe, Circle, movement around an axis










The activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited.



Tourism is the sum of government and private sector activities which shape and serve the needs and manage the consequences of holiday and business travel.



Tourism is a study of man away from his usual habitat, of the industry which responds to his needs, and of the impacts that both he and the industry have on the host socio-cultural, economic and physical environment.



Tourism is the temporary movement of people to destinations outside their normal places of work and residence, the activities undertaken during their stay in those destinations, and the facilities created to cater for their needs.



Tourism is about customers away from home.




 Definitions include or exclude parts of the tourism system.



Four core elements:

- movement of people

- a sector of the economy

- system of interaction between people and

- system of interaction between people and the surrounding world.




Dimensions of travel


- Purpose of trip

- Distance travelled

- Duration of trip

- Residence of traveller

- Mode of transportation




 Who is travelling, who is to be included in the definition
 (and the statistics?)


Source: UNWTO





Rojek/Urry 1997: "Tourism embraces so many different notions that it is hardly useful as a term of social science."


Hall 2006: MOBILITY should be used instead of tourism.








Tourism studies

Compared to other scientific disciplines, tourism studies are a relatively new field.

The beginnings of a scientific treatment of tourism are connected to monetary and statistical approaches and a Central European view.

The oldest major texts from Germany:
Guyer-Feuler: Beiträge zu einer Statistik des Fremdenverkehrs, (1895),
Stradner: Der Fremdenverkehr (1905) and
Schullern zu Schrattenhofen: Fremdenverkehr und Volkswirtschaft (1911) all concentrated on economic aspects

as did the early Italian text of
Bodio: Sul movimento dei forestieri (= strangers) in Italia e sul denaro che vi spendono (1899)

and the first major French text of
Picard: L’Industrie du Voyageur (1911).

At the end of the 1920s the economist Robert Glücksmann started in Berlin his Archiv für Fremdenverkehr as a periodical publication of his private tourism research institute.

Accordingly in the 1920s at several universities in Austria and Switzerland, ‘the first European chairs and research programmes were an outgrowth of departments of economics and, to a lesser extent, the field of economic geography’ (Hall 2005: 7).

While the war stopped tourism and the development of tourism science in many countries and Glücksmann’s ‘Jewish’ institute had to close in Nazi Germany, in Switzerland the development continued.

In 1941 in Professor Krapf in Berne started the Forschungsinstitut für Fremdenverkehr, while in St Gallen Professor Hunziker became the first director of the newly-founded Seminar für Fremdenverkehr.

After the Second World War tourism research was – and still is today – dominated by an Anglo-Saxon point of view from researchers working out of North America, Great Britain or Australia and New Zealand. The impact from other areas is minimal, especially if the publications are not in English.

For the 21st century, many Asian scholars claim that the "third wave" of tourism science has now, after Europe and North America, moved to Asia.




Disciplines engaged in tourism sciences are no longer restricted to economics and geography but have in step with the growth of tourism multiplied, even though the quality and depth of tourism research is sharply criticized within the field.

Cooper (2003) finds four problems of tourism sciences still existing today:
- conceptual weakness and fuzziness,

- a spread of topics and a lack of focus,

- a predominance of one-off atheoretical case studies, and

- difficulties with access to quality large-scale data sources.






- Which scientific disciplines are nowadays connected to tourism?

Economics (Example: Economic contribution, costs and benefits)
 Law (legal framework)
  Marketing (marketing channels, consumer behaviour)
   Management (Operations, service, Human Resource Management)
    Finance&Accounting (Feasibility, real estate)
     Hospitality (accomodation, convention, gastronomy, casinos)
      Architecture&Design (landscape architecture, heritage)
       Transport/Mobility studies (infrastructure)
        Leisure studies (activities, policies, relation to tourism)
         Ecology (impact on nature, national parks)
          Geography (spatial patterns, movement of people)
           Urban&regional planning (tourism development studies)
            Political analysis (decision-making, participation)
             Sociology (tourism&contemporary society, segmentation)
              Cultural studies (transnationalism)
               Anthropology (host and guest, social impact)
                Psychology (travel motivation, tourist behaviour) etc.





Tourism studies started in a big way only in the 1980s.

Most of the about 20 study programs for tourism in Germany are less than 20 years old.

So in tourism science there are a lot of new fields to work on.


Example: The global economic crisis of 2008/2009 was the first such situation under the conditions of global tourism as a major part of the world economy. How would tourism demand react to the crisis, which parts of the problems would create which consequences in the tourism industry nobody could foresee - it never happened before.



  Contact: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt,, Tel. 0481 8555-513