Skip Navigation

Traveller vs. Tourist

Travel Forums General Talk Traveller vs. Tourist

Page 1 ...

Last Post

81. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 627 posts) 11y

Tourists are people who do not experience the culture they are visiting, even within the bounds of their own culture. They treat the locals like the hotel guest services, or the convenience store cashier. They seem to float on things, to hover in their mindsets, above all the localized chaos. They get from point A to B, but they seem to leap, not experiencing anything.

When I think about travelling, I picture someone out on the path, seeing. Sometimes, he sees with the help of a guide, and at another time, he does see on his own. Sometimes the locals help. But durring all of it a traveller, in my eyes, is experiencing and growing more enlightened, letting the submerged culture teach and build and encourag.



82. Posted by Peter (Admin 5846 posts) 11y

I tend to agree that anyone travelling for fun is a tourist. That seems like a good definition. I don't feel the term tourist should be used to say what kind of a person people are or what their attitudes might be.

I mean, as a 'traveller', would you go visit tourist attractions? I certainly would. And any local on the street would consider me a tourist for doing it. Well, why not? Are the connotations of that term really that bad?

I think most tourists learn a lot from the culture they're in - hence the popularity of local museums, cultural icons and tour guides who can explain it all.

So, here's my final definition, based on some other responses as well.

A traveller can be travelling for any reason (work, pleasure), but a tourist is the specific type of traveller travelling for recreation.

83. Posted by maridod (Full Member 114 posts) 11y

A traveler is a person who at least makes an attempt to blend in the culture. While at times this may be impossible due to certain physical characteristics, the traveler will make the attempt! Mainly, instead of shouting "Do you speak English?" (people tend to think because a person does not speak their language, they are also deaf), travelers have invested in a book or cd to teach themselves the basic of the language. This is done to communicate with the people of that that they get the insider's view...which is the goal of a traveler. A traveler knows that there is always something to be learned...and they seek to find new teachers while on their journey.

84. Posted by MattXIII (Full Member 272 posts) 11y

I reiterate.

We're all tourists.

Why does everyone here feel this bloody selfish need to put themselves above other people?

You have different types of tourists, adventure, eco, urban, buisness. But we're under one umbrella term "TOURIST".

Again, anyone who tries to think your better than anybody else, your talking out of your bloody arse!

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

Quoting MattXIII

I reiterate.We're all tourists.Why does everyone here feel this bloody selfish need to put themselves above other people?You have different types of tourists, adventure, eco, urban, buisness. But we're under one umbrella term "TOURIST".Again, anyone who tries to think your better than anybody else, your talking out of your bloody arse!

That's it, big guy .. get it all out of your system before you go travelling again

86. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 11y

Personally, i don't think there is a dividing line. Everybody wants and gets different things out of there travel experiences, whether they are away for a week or a year, so to categorise yourself as something other than a tourist when you're just spending a few weeks somewhere is wrong in certain cases, the locals will just about always see you as a tourist. Also, i disagree that it is only the traveller that tries to learn a bit of the language. The 'tourist' is more than likely to visit just one place and you will find just as many making the effort to speak the language. Not everyone spending a week or 2 passing through different countries will learn the language of each country they are in. Some of the views on here are quite interesting because it does seem some people have convinced themselves they are elitist when abroad because they are a traveller. I've seen just as many 'travellers' shouting "do you speak english" as i have package tourists. And the locals prefer package tourists because they spend more money, so they don't care too much if you have learned their language or not.

87. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

"Poop, poop!"

88. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 613 posts) 11y

Scientists exist in order to be argued with. It's what they're for.

And why on earth would anyone take a scientist seriously when talking about tourism or travel? He/she never leaves the lab!

Who said we were being snobby and putting ourselves above each other? Isn't that what you're doing by trying to end the debate with your own statement?

89. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 613 posts) 11y

I once returned home (UK) from Copenhagen on a shoestring (not literally, that's impossible).

It went something like this:-
Walk to bus stop, onto bus, onto ferry, off ferry onto bus, into station, onto train, off train, onto bus, into airport, onto plane, into sky, land, change planes, sky again, land at airport, tube from airport to railway station, train to home town, taxi to house.

It took 17 hours and I bloody enjoyed it (maybe I'm weird).
I believe that makes me a traveller.

But I have been a tourist too, and the only people I think I'm better than are those that won't do either!

90. Posted by Peter (Admin 5846 posts) 11y

Ok guys, keep it nice. It's only a discussion :) It's ok to disagree.

Further on this though, an article in the Age today comments on a recent bagging the Wheelers got in the New Yorker. I think some of you would really enjoy this. Be prepared though, it's a long article!!

From the New Yorker

Have Tony Wheeler?s guidebooks travelled too far?

And in response, the Age's article this morning

From backpack to business class

Page 1 ...

Last Post