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Traveller vs. Tourist

Travel Forums General Talk Traveller vs. Tourist

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1. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

What is the delineation between the terms "traveller" and "tourist"?

We know each of you have an opinion of what constitutes one and/or the other. We would really like to know, so we can know if we can still pack our Hawaiian shirts and Bermuda shorts or not...

2. Posted by s0f (Full Member 163 posts) 11y

A couple of quotes:

"The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see." -G.K. Chesterton

"The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes "sight-seeing." <i>-Daniel J. Boorstin

I think that a tourist is a person with a camera hanging around their neck, a bum-bag (I think the American's call it something else - fanny-pack???), the hawaiian shirt, wearing shorts with white socks pulled way up to their knees, and a map in their hand. OK, that's a really generalised view of a tourist! I live on the Gold Coast and it's full of tourists. I crave to live in an area (like where I grew up) where you know who the locals are and know people by face if not by name.

I think a traveller is somewhat like a nomad. Someone who goes more than sight-seeing. Someone who really wants to learn more about a place than what's in the brochures. A traveller takes no map - they go where they go.

I want to be a traveller... not a tourist.

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4890 posts) 11y


Everything else is incidental.

That said, everyone else you meet during travelling will probably equate those shirts with you being tourists, but then, who cares about them anyway. It's your attitude and approach to your travels that matters. :) ('sides, there's no harm in being a tourist as such - I myself have dabbled at playing one in my younger years, and see, I can still form coherent sentences!) ;)

4. Posted by s0f (Full Member 163 posts) 11y

There's nothing wrong with being a tourist! My earlier post is a little anti-tourist... I've been a tourist several times but it's time to change my own attitutude and become a traveller as opposed to a tourist.

5. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

Quoting soapsuds

"The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see." -G.K. Chesterton

I really think that describes it perfectly :)

6. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

The more I travel, I realise that most of what I see is just a superficial societal presentation designed for the tourist market, whether it by domestic or international. Whatever we like to call ourselves, we are still just passing through ....

7. Posted by Peter (Admin 5845 posts) 11y

To me traveller is something people call themselves when they don't like being called a tourist.

If anything I'd say a traveller enjoys the journey as much or more than the destination.

I feel that most people (travellers or tourists) just want to see or experience something exotic and different to their everyday lives. Either that or just relax.

8. Posted by ukmassage (Inactive 1052 posts) 11y

traveller prepares for the journey by reading about the culture, history, habits and planning it carefully.

tourist goes to the travel agent and buys all inclusive package tour

9. Posted by Peter (Admin 5845 posts) 11y

Looking at it another way; most people describe travellers as they type of tourist they are :)

10. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

I really like soapsuds quote and MassageUKs too...but I can't help but separate the two in my mind by manners. I always picture tourists as being out of place -expecting people to cater to them and travellers as trying to fit in (when in Rome..) We probably all have differnt views on this subject, and it really is interesting to see what people think;)

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