What is tourism?

What is tourism? Popular forms of tourism

According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Tourism is an activity in which people travel from one place to another, outside their usual area of residence, for leisure, business, or other purposes for a period not exceeding one year that do not involve engaging in a gainful activity in the place of destination. Travel can include activities such as exploring, relaxing, learning new cultures, and participating in events or conferences.

What is tourism?

Popular types of tourism in the world

Tourist Resort

Resort tourism is an important segment of the tourism industry, providing opportunities for travelers to relax and recharge at locations specifically designed to provide the optimal vacation experience. This segment includes resorts, spas, and ocean or mountain resorts, which offer a wide range of services and amenities such as wellness, spa, recreational activities, water sports, and golf. , and other outdoor activities.


  1. Relax and Regenerate: Resort tourism provides an ideal space for mental and physical relaxation and regeneration, helping to reduce stress and regenerate energy after the busyness of daily life.
  2. Diverse Facilities: Resorts often offer a variety of amenities and services, from restaurants, swimming pools, spas, gyms, to entertainment and sports activities.
  3. Unique Experience: Each resort offers a unique experience, from location to design and service, enabling guests to have unforgettable vacations.


  1. Expense: Resort travel can be expensive, especially at high-end resorts, and may not be the right choice for all travelers, especially those on a limited budget.
  2. Less Cultural Interaction: Some resorts may offer “isolated” experiences, limiting opportunities for guests to interact with local culture and communities.
  3. Natural environment: The development of large resorts can also negatively impact the surrounding natural environment, especially if not done in a sustainable manner.

Customer segmentation

  • Family: Customers search family vacation There are activities for all ages and amenities for children.
  • Couple: Looking for a romantic, peaceful space for your honeymoon or anniversary.
  • Relaxation seekers: Including those who want to escape the pressures of work and daily life and focus on improving their health and well-being.
  • Friends club: Look for a place with plenty of recreational activities and opportunities to create shared memories.

In the current context, many resorts are focusing on sustainable development and creating less negative impact on the environment, while also seeking to increase cultural interaction between visitors and local communities. . This not only helps protect the environment and raise cultural awareness, but also brings added value to the visitor experience.

Cultural tourism

Cultural tourism is an important segment of the tourism industry, where tourists explore and experience the culture, history, arts, and traditions of a location. This type of tourism does not only include visiting historical sites (For example: Danh Thang Hon Chong, Ponagar tower) museum (e.g. Nha Trang Oceanography Institute), and important cultural sites but also involves participating in festivals, local cuisine, and other cultural activities. Let's take a deeper dive into cultural tourism, including its advantages, disadvantages, and appropriate customer segments.


Ponagar Tower Nha Trang
Ponagar tower
  1. Enhance education, exchange and cultural understanding: Cultural tourism helps visitors expand their knowledge and understanding of different cultures, thereby enhancing cultural respect and exchange.
  2. Preserving heritage: Through attracting visitors and investing in conservation, cultural tourism plays an important role in protecting and maintaining cultural heritage for future generations.
  3. Economic promotion: Cultural tourism can generate important income for local communities through job creation and increased revenue from tourism services.


  1. Overcrowding and destruction: Overcrowding with tourists can lead to the destruction of cultural relics and the loss of the true cultural value of the site.
  2. Commercialization: There is a risk of commercialization and loss of authenticity of local culture when cultural experiences are “packaged” for tourists.
  3. Cultural conflict: Cultural differences between tourists and local communities can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts.

Customer segmentation

  • Academics and education: People who seek in-depth knowledge of the history, art, and culture of a place.
  • Looking for experience: Tourists who want to directly participate in local cultural activities and experience the daily life of local communities.
  • Festival favorites: Tourists like to participate in festivals and cultural events to feel the vibrant and unique atmosphere of each place.

In the modern context, cultural tourism is facing the challenge of balancing between attracting tourists and preserving culture in a sustainable way. This requires collaboration between governments, tourism businesses, and local communities to create effective policies and management measures, while increasing visitor education about the importance of travel. cultural preservation.


Ecotourism, also known as ecotourism, is a form of sustainable tourism that aims to minimize negative impacts on the environment and raise awareness about nature conservation. It often involves visiting vulnerable areas, untouched by human intervention, and emphasizes educating visitors about the natural environment and local culture.


  1. Environmental conservation: Ecotourism focuses on protecting and preserving natural areas and biodiversity, helping to ensure that they are preserved for future generations. In Nha Trang, it is typical Hon Mun tourism, a very unique national marine sanctuary
  2. Support local community: By creating jobs and increasing income for local communities, ecotourism promotes sustainable economic development.
  3. Educate and increase awareness of environmental protection: Ecotourism provides visitors with the opportunity to learn about the natural environment and the importance of environmental conservation.


  1. Management and Organization: High management and organizational requirements are required to ensure that tourism activities do not harm the natural environment or local culture.
  2. Risk of Overload: There is a risk of overcrowding if the number of visitors is not controlled, leading to negative impacts on the natural environment that ecotourism hopes to protect.
  3. High cost: Ecotourism activities sometimes require higher costs due to the need to comply with environmental protection standards and invest in sustainable infrastructure.

Customer Segmentation

  • People Who Care About the Environment: Tourists are highly environmentally conscious and want to contribute to nature conservation.
  • Researchers and Students: These groups are interested in learning about biodiversity, ecosystems, and local culture through hands-on experiences.
  • Unique Experience Seekers: People who want to experience outdoor living, explore wildlife, and engage in activities such as trekking, bird watching, and caving in a sustainable approach.

Ecotourism requires commitment and cooperation from both tourism managers, tourists, and local communities to ensure that it brings environmental, economic, and social benefits. Applying the principles of sustainability and environmental conservation in ecotourism not only helps protect nature but also creates rich and meaningful experiences for visitors.

Sports tourism

Sports tourism is a specialized segment of tourism where the primary activity is participating in or watching sporting events. This may include going to sports matches at major events such as the Olympics or World Cup, participating in adventure sports activities such as surfing or rock climbing, or attending training courses and camps sport. Below is a more in-depth analysis of sports tourism, including its advantages, disadvantages, and suitable customer segments.


  1. Satisfy your passion: Sports tourism not only helps improve physical health through physical activities but also strengthens the spirit through experiences and personal challenges.
  2. Promote economic development: Major sporting events attract visitors from around the world, creating economic opportunities for local businesses and enhancing tourism revenues.
  3. Infrastructure development: International sporting events often require high-quality infrastructure, thereby promoting the development and upgrading of local facilities.


  1. High cost: Attending or watching sporting events, especially international ones, can be expensive, from admission tickets, to accommodation, to travel costs.
  2. Environmental Impact: Major sporting events can generate large amounts of waste and put pressure on the natural environment and local infrastructure.
  3. Overload and Security: Large sporting events can lead to local overcrowding, creating security and crowd management problems.

Customer Segmentation

  • Sportsman: People who want to follow live sporting events and support their favorite team or athlete.
  • People Who Participate in Sports Activities: People looking for opportunities to participate in sporting activities, from extreme sports to professional sports training camps.
  • Travelers Seeking New Experiences: People who want to combine travel with challenging themselves through sports activities, thereby creating a unique and different travel experience.

Sports tourism brings opportunities not only for sports lovers but also for localities in promoting their image, developing their economy and infrastructure. However, for sustainable development, it is necessary to consider and minimize negative impacts on the environment and local communities, while ensuring security and safety for tourists and local people.

Business travel

Business travel, also known as MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) travel, is an important segment of the travel industry, consisting of travel for the purpose of organizing or participating in events. sales, conferences, exhibitions, and other stimulating activities. This segment offers opportunities not only for businesses to expand their network and grow their business, but also to contribute significantly to the local economy of destinations. Business tourism is extremely popular in Vietnam in general and Nha Trang in particular.


  1. Boosting Local Economy: Business tourism brings great revenue to destinations through the use of infrastructure such as hotels, convention centers, restaurants, and transportation services.
  2. Networking and Business Development: Providing opportunities for businesses and experts to meet, exchange, and expand business networks, promoting opportunities for cooperation and development.
  3. Infrastructure development: Stimulate the development and upgrading of infrastructure, especially conference centers and hotels, improving the quality of services and amenities for both tourists and local communities.


  1. Environmental Impact: Large-scale business events can create large amounts of waste and carbon footprints, putting pressure on the natural and urban environment.
  2. High cost: The cost of organizing and participating in business events and conferences is often high, which can be a barrier for small and medium-sized businesses or freelance professionals.
  3. Depends on Economy: The business travel segment can be greatly affected by the overall economic situation, with a decline during difficult economic times.

Customer Segmentation

  • Businesses and organizations Companies and organizations look for opportunities to organize or participate in events aimed at expanding their business and developing their brand.
  • Experts and scholars: Individuals participate in professional conferences and seminars to exchange knowledge, research and develop their careers.
  • Group travel: Companies use stimulation travel as a reward for outstanding employees, boosting work morale and team bonding.

Business tourism requires close coordination between stakeholders, from organizations and businesses to local governments and service providers, to create successful events with a positive economic impact. local economy and environment. At the same time, applying technology and sustainable solutions in event management and business tourism activities is an important factor to minimize environmental impact and increase organizational efficiency.

Health care tourism

Healthcare tourism, also known as medical tourism, is a growing segment of the tourism industry, where the primary purpose of visitors is to seek health care services, treatments, and treatments. treatment, rehabilitation, or participation in activities that promote health and mental well-being.


  1. Improve health: Wellness tourism provides opportunities for travelers to enjoy high-quality healthcare services, including medical treatment, rehabilitation, spas and relaxation therapies.
  2. Cost effective: In some countries, the cost of health care and treatment services is significantly lower than in the traveler's home country, while still ensuring high quality.
  3. Combining Resort and Health Care: Healthcare tourism allows for the combination of treatment and relaxation, helping to enhance recovery efficiency and an enjoyable vacation experience.
tam bun than tam
Hon Tam mud bath is popular


  1. Medical Risks: Although rare, there is a risk of treatment not achieving the expected results or encountering medical safety issues abroad.
  2. Language and Culture Issues: Language and cultural differences can increase challenges in communicating and understanding medical procedures.
  3. Adjusting Travel Plans: Medical needs may require adjustments to travel schedules and activities, affecting the overall experience.

Customer Segmentation

  • Seek medical treatment: Includes people seeking high-quality, lower-cost or specialized medical services that are not available in their country.
  • Those Seeking Recovery and Relaxation: Including those who want to recover from illness, reduce stress or improve mental health through spa, mud bath and relaxation therapy.
  • People Seeking Improved Health and Lifestyle: People who want to improve their quality of life and health through diet, exercise and health-enhancing activities.

Nha Trang, one of Vietnam's famous beach tourist destinations, not only attracts tourists by its wonderful natural landscape but also by its health care and spa services. The city has many spa and wellness centers offering relaxation and health treatments based on natural hot minerals, mud therapy and traditional Vietnamese methods. Nha Trang is also home to hospitals and medical centers that provide quality medical services to both international visitors, with a team of highly qualified doctors and specialists.

Wellness tourism in Nha Trang not only helps visitors improve their health and mental wellbeing, but also offers the opportunity to experience culture and relax at one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. The development of health care tourism in Nha Trang also contributes to promoting the image and promoting the local economy, while improving the quality of the city's medical and tourism services.

Educational tourism

Educational tourism is a specialized segment of tourism that focuses on providing learning experiences and knowledge development for visitors through participating in educational activities, exploring cultural heritage, naturally, or take specialized courses. Below is a more in-depth analysis of educational tourism, including its advantages, disadvantages, and appropriate customer segments.


  1. Expand knowledge: Educational travel helps expand knowledge and understanding of the world, cultures, history, and science through hands-on experiences and direct interaction with the learning environment.
  2. Developing Life Skills: Besides learning, visitors also have the opportunity to develop life skills, communication skills, and the ability to adapt to new environments.
  3. Strengthening Cultural Exchange: Educational tourism facilitates cultural exchange, giving visitors a deeper insight into different cultures and increasing mutual understanding and respect.


  1. Expense: High-quality educational travel programs can be expensive, including costs for experts, guides, and course materials.
  2. Time Required: Educational travel programs often require a longer time commitment than other types of travel, which may not be suitable for every traveler.
  3. Accessibility: Some educational travel programs may be geographically limited or have special physical and mental requirements, so not everyone can participate.

Customer Segmentation

  • Pupils and students: People who want to combine education with travel to learn and experience, including participating in student exchange programs.
  • Teachers and Lecturers: Education professionals seek opportunities to develop professionally and learn about new educational methods through conferences and workshops.
  • People Who Love Learning: Visitors of all ages want to expand their knowledge and skills through participating in educational programs and exploring cultural and natural heritage.

Educational travel not only helps increase knowledge and understanding of the world around us, but also promotes personal growth and cross-cultural respect. To maximize benefits, educational travel programs need to be carefully designed, with a blend of education and entertainment, ensuring that visitors have a rich and meaningful learning experience. .

Adventure travel

Adventure travel is an attractive travel segment where travelers seek excitement, adventure and new experiences through outdoor and adventurous activities. These activities may include trekking, climbing, Diving, bungee jumping, kayaking, and many more activities.


  1. Unique and Unforgettable Experience: Adventure travel brings unique, unforgettable experiences that challenge your limits and boost your confidence.
  2. Close to nature: Adventure activities often take place outdoors, allowing visitors to enjoy and explore natural beauty, thereby raising awareness about environmental conservation.
  3. Developing Life Skills: Adventure travel requires independence, quick decisions, and teamwork, which helps develop life skills and problem-solving abilities.


  1. Risks and Safety: Adventure activities carry risks and can cause injury if not undertaken under expert guidance and with adequate safety equipment.
  2. Physical Requirements: Some activities require good health and physical fitness, which may limit participation for some visitors with health problems or the elderly.
  3. Expense: Adventure trips and adventure activities can be expensive due to the cost of equipment, professional guides and insurance. However, there are also experience tours with very reasonable prices in Nha Trang such as Nha Trang island tour Limited, the cost to participate in the experience is only from 650,000 VND

Customer Segmentation

  • Adventure Enthusiasts: Tourists seek thrills and want to challenge themselves through adventurous activities.
  • Nature Lovers: Travelers want to explore and experience the world's natural beauty through outdoor activities.
  • People Seeking Personal Growth: Travelers want to develop life skills and improve physical and mental health through adventure activities.

Adventure travel requires careful preparation, from researching activities, choosing reputable service providers, to preparing health and safety equipment. The sustainable development of this segment also needs to consider the protection of the environment and local communities, ensuring that adventure activities not only benefit tourists but also contribute to conservation. preserve nature and develop local economy.

Each type of tourism has its own characteristics and target customers, suitable for different needs, interests, and travel purposes. Choosing the right type of travel helps ensure the most optimal and meaningful travel experience.

Scholars around the world study the importance of tourism

There are many academic studies on the role, importance and influence of tourism on the world, some typical works include:

  1. Analyzing the effectiveness of travel and tourism in the European Union (Barišić & Cvetkoska, 2019): This study explores the impact of tourism on GDP and employment in all 28 member states of the European Union, using non-parametric Data Envelopment Analysis.
  2. The relationship between tourism and economic growth (Brida, Gómez, & Segarra, 2020): This study examines the evolution of economic growth and tourism development for 80 countries between 1995 and 2016, discovering two groups of countries with high and low performance in tourism.
  3. Globalization of the tourism industry (Lukianenko et al., 2019): This article analyzes the impact of globalization on the international tourism industry, with a focus on analyzing the development of the tourism industry in leading countries such as France, the US, and Spain. Nha, China, and Italy.
  4. Impact of the pandemic on tourism (Karabulut et al., 2020): This study documents the negative impact of the pandemic on tourist arrivals, especially in a low economic context.
  5. The link between carbon emissions, economic growth, energy use, and oil consumption by top contributors to travel and tourism GDP (Khan et al., 2022): This study evaluates the evolving relationship between tourist arrivals, economic growth, energy consumption, and oil consumption on carbon emissions, applying the ARDL panel to 18 leading countries on travel and tourism GDP contribution from 1995 to 2019.

These studies provide insight into the significant economic impact of tourism around the world, from generating GDP and jobs to the development of infrastructure and environmental conservation. However, specific data on tourism's contribution to the GDP of the 20 countries need to be collected from official and updated data sources, such as national tourism agencies or international organizations such as World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) because this data is constantly changing and needs to be constantly updated

Role in the global economy

Contribution to global GDP: According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), before the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism directly and indirectly contributed about 10% of global GDP, creating more than 320 million jobs, accounting for about 1 in 10 jobs globally. bridge.

Income from international tourists: In 2019, income from international tourists reached about 1.7 trillion USD, up from 1.3 trillion USD in 2017, according to UNWTO. This shows the strong growth of the tourism industry globally.

Invest in infrastructure: Investment in tourism infrastructure, including hotels, airports, and transportation services, also plays an important role in promoting economic growth. According to the UNWTO Global Investment Report 2019, investment in tourism continues to increase, demonstrating countries' commitment to the industry.

Impact on other industries: Tourism also positively impacts many other industries such as agriculture, trade, and construction through the procurement of tourism-related goods and services.

Resilience: Although heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism is still considered one of the industries capable of recovering quickly, with many supportive policies and measures from governments and international organizations. One of the countries with the strongest tourism recovery is Thailand when they are in the top The country has the largest number of tourists in the world 2023.

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