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Geography of Tourism Dr.Subhash N.Nikam Principal, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaikwad College, Malegaon Camp, Dist.Nashik. Meaning and Significance of Tourism

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Geography of TourismDr.Subhash N.NikamPrincipal,Maharaja Sayajirao Gaikwad College,Malegaon Camp, Dist.Nashik

Meaning and Significance of Tourism

The origin of the word ‘Tourism’ or ‘tourist’ is related to the word ‘tour’ which has been derived from the Latin word ‘tornos.’ It means a turner’s wheel or a tool for describing a circle, it also means a ‘round tour,’ or circular journey.

According to Webstar’s Dictionary ‘a journey at which one returns to the starting point, a circular trip usually for business, pleasure, or education during which various places are visited and for which an itinerary is usually planned.


The concept of tourism as a phenomenon involves the movements of people within there own country or across the national borders.

Tourism is the totality of the relationship and phenomenon arising from the travel and stay of strangers provided the stay does not imply the establishment of a permanent residence and is not connected with any earning activity.” This definition was subsequently accepted by the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism (A.I.E.S.T.)

Tourism is not a recent phenomena in India. In Sanskrit Literature, the term tourism is derived from the root ‘atan’ which means leaving home for some time to visit other places. The following three terms define the different aspects of tourism.

Paryatana: It means going out for pleasure and knowledge.

Deshatana: It means going out to other countries primarily for economic gains.

Tirthatana: It means going to the places of religious importance.


Evolution of Tourism

Tourism in its present form is of a rather recent origin but man has been engaged in travel from the very beginning of history, after the invention of the wheel, man started traveling from one place to another in search of food, water settlement and cultivation.

There were many famous travelers, as we know, who changed the complexion and the course of human history and knowledge about the wider world. Alexander, Marco Polo, Columbus, Vasco-de-Gama, Huen Tsang, Fa-Hien, Ibn Batuta and Al-Beruni and many such travelers came just for adventure and for acquiring more knowledge about different nations and cultures

Trade and Commerce were the strongest motivators in the ancient time. The traveler in the past was a merchant, a pilgrim, a scholar and even a curious wayfarer looking forward to new and exciting experiences.


According to United Nations report, during the year 1955 to 1965, the number of tourist arrivals in some 65 countries increased from 51 million to over 157 million. This trend in the growth of tourism continued all over the world in 1975 where there were nearly 220 million international tourists in the world. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) estimates in1989, that tourism could be the world’s single largest industry by the year 2000.

That’s true, as tourism today is one of the world’s fastest growing industries and it earns over $ 3.5 trillion, worldwide, generated by over 500 million international travelers rising to 660 million by 2000


Forms of Tourism:

Tourism does not lend itself to a single form. Tourism as a phenomenon is presented under various forms and classifications on the basis of factors such as geographical location, the purpose of travel, the means of transport used for travel and the number of persons travelling from one place to the other etc.

According to the geographical locations, tourism is classified as follows:

Domestic tourism:

International tourism:

Intra-regional tourism :World Tourism Organization Regional Commission, there are six regions as: Africa, America, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Middle East and South Asia.

Inter-regional tourism:


According to the purpose of visit, the form of tourism is described as follows:

  • Recreational tourism:
  • . Health tourism:
  • 3. Cultural tourism:
  • 4. Adventure tourism:
  • 5. Religious (Pilgrimage) tourism:
  • 6. Social tourism:
  • 7. Eco-tourism:
  • 8. Sport tourism:
  • 9. Business tourism:
  • According to a number of people who participate tourism also gets distinguished.
  • Individual tourism:
  • Group tourism:
  • Mass tourism:

Geographical Components of Tourism:

According to Robinson, the attractions of tourism are, to a very large extent, geographical in their character. Location and accessibility (whether a place has a coastal or inland position, and the ease with which a given place can be reached) is one of the important.

Physical space may be thought of as a component for there are those who seek the wilderness and solitude. Scenery or landscape is a compound of landforms, water and the vegetation and has an aesthetic and recreative value.

Climate conditions, especially in relation to the amount of sunshine, temperature and precipitation are of special significance. Animal life may be an important attraction, firstly, in relation to bird-watching or viewing game in their natural habitat and secondly for sporting purposes, e.g. fishing and hunting.

Man’s impact on the natural landscape in the form of his settlements, historical monuments and archaeological remains is also a major attraction. Finally a variety of cultural features as ways of life, folklore, artistic expressions, etc. provide valuable attractions to many.


Geography of Tourism

Tourism is considered as one of the world’s largest industry.

It is also considered as foreign exchange earning industry without any smoke or pollution. The idea of taking annual holidays for rest and entertainment away from the home began in the 18th Century with the industrial development and urbanization. This activity, which adds to the national income of the country, is tourism or tourist industry. Thus without exchanging commodities, there is exchange of money, ideas, thoughts and services among people which leads to tourism.


The Geographical environment provides a greater scope for tourism potential. For instance, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, forests and wild life etc. act as centres of tourist attraction. The historical monuments, forts, palaces and ancient temples provide great scope for tourism development.

The potential for tourism development in any area largely depends on the availability of recreational resources such as mountain peak, river, lake, waterfall, water reservoirs, forest, wildlife, historical monument, an object of art, fair or festival; also a person can be a tourist resource in addition to factors like climate, accessibility, attitude of local people towards the nature and the extent of tourism development.


Relationship between Geography and Tourism:

Geography is a wide-ranging discipline and Geography of Tourism is an important branch of human geography so it is natural that Tourism is directly related to geography because it is a function of geography. It is totally based on appreciation and enjoyment of nature, climate, landscape and the concomitant infrastructural facilities. However, the geographers who define the discipline of modern geography cannot refuse the nature of environment, the location of phenomena like site and situation of settlement and spatial distributions and its relationship. Tourism is also very much related with spatial conditions such as the location of tourist interest places and movement of tourists from one place to another. Hence, Geography has to play a fundamental role in studying the tourist demands at various places of tourist interest.


Geograhical landscape

Tourism is also related to the structure, form, and use and conservation of landscape

Tourism has developed a lot in the mountainous areas due to its scenic beauty and pleasant climatic conditions. It is an attempt to preserve and conserve the natural landscape. Thus Tourism, obviously, affects land use pattern but leads to two different almost conflicting landscape effects.


According to Boesch (1964) that, “influence of tourism upon particular levels of the formal structure of the landscape as may be characteristic, changes in the demographic composition”. A large number of tourists are attracted to the mountain areas. Such a development came at a time when these regions were beginning to lose their populations because they were unable to compete with agricultural production in more favoured regions and farming provided a very precarious livelihood.

As Christaller (1964) stated that, tourism by its very nature favours peripheral regions and tourism is a branch of economy which avoids central places and the agglomerations of industry, such changes in economic and demographic structure have long engaged the attention of geographers.


Tourism is a commercial activity and hence an aspect of economic geography. The tourist trade is now a major industry in many Western countries which involves large number of people in the provision of accommodation, transport, catering, entertainment, the souvenir trade and other services in the industries. In less developed countries, governments have interest in the development of tourism as a solution to their economic growth in regional level. The dispersion of development to underdeveloped areas has possibilities to benefit through tourism because tourism is a key factor in promotion of economic growth.


Tourism has an important and far-reaching socio-cultural impact and is of great concern to the geographers. The study of tourism comes within the preview of geography and it needs better and serious understanding in geographical studies so that the geography of tourism may most appropriately be studied as an applied field of geography.

There is difference between applied geography and geography in general, as applied geography is defined as “the application of geographical methods like survey, investigation, analysis and representation in a practical direction, e.g. physical and regional planning, urban development etc.


Leszczycki (1964) suggested that applied geography having four characteristic features is stated as; ‘the investigation is directed towards practical end, the work implies the critical evaluation, the result of the work be represented quantitatively and the studies must take into account the possibilities of further future development and to give perspectives and scientifically based forecasts’.

Therefore, applied geographical studies provide perfect solutions to problems and have an important practical value. Thus the geography of tourism as an aspect of applied geography, for the geographical study of tourism embraces above mentioned four characteristics.


The study related with tourist travel and recreation has grown steadily in importance from the social point of view and the studies that have been made are very complex. Not only the research dealing with aspects of natural environment is valuable for recreation and tourist travel, such as landscape or climate, which are dealt with by physical geography; but also anthropogenic aspects are valuable for recreation or tourist travel, from the point of view of culture, as well as such phenomena as recreational trips, economic problems connected with the services for tourists and the social and socio-cultural problems which result from tourist and recreational travel. All these studies, physical as well as economic, aim at solving but one complex problem and they can be considered as a special branch of applied geography as known as recreational geography (Robinson 1976).


Finally, the expansion of tourism has been divided into many branches such as Anthropology,Sociology,Psychology,Economics,Ecology and Geography to mention a few. The fact is that tourism is so vast, so complex and so multifaceted, due to its multi and transdisciplinary approaches to the study of the field, that each is geared to a somewhat different task and objective. The interdisciplinary nature of tourism studies their reciprocity and mutuality. It is obvious that tourism embraces geography at many junctions and it constitutes an essential part of geography. So, many geographers have directed their attention to tourism. However, geography is an integrating science which is better equipped and has a greater potential to understand and investigate the phenomena occurring in space-their process, structure, pattern and impact.Hence, geography plays a fundamental role in studying the tourism demands at various places of tourist interest.


Tourism is a very complex industry it embraces many economic activities, services, facilities, human relations and demand and supply pattern. Defining tourism in terms of territory activity, it means various services are provided to the tourist. No doubt, these services are essential for the tourism development while tourism development in any are depends on the facilities and services provided to the tourists, that more important is the availability of a strong recreation resource base of tourism. In fact, it is the complex of ‘attractions’ both natural and man-made of a destination, which generate demand in the tourist industry. Thus, potential for tourism development mostly depends on the variety and richness of tourist-resources and the more unique and varied resources are better prospects for tourism development.


The tourist potential of an area, site or region and its importance from the point of view of tourism is determined by various factors. Certain sites are more favorable for tourism development than others. The several factors which need to be assessed in the location of tourism destinations and influence the potentials of a geographical unit as a tourist destination, or it importance for development, attractions, physical conditions, climate, accessibility, amenities, constraints and incentives besides other factors such as political support, capital, availability of labour, etc. important factors are favourable for tourism development.


Assessing Scenic Resource for Tourism:

Geographers are largely concerned with the landscape study e.g. all sorts of cultural, social and scenic landscapes, i.e. relief and structure, geological formations, water bodies and other visual activities in the landscape. The study of the landscapes based on the three stages as the identification, description and interpretation of various scenic landscapes. Every landscape has the distinguished characters, which is judged by the tourist’s perceptions, impressions, imaginations and emotional attitudes. There are diversity in landscape patterns and it produces variety in the landscape types e.g. industrial, agricultural, religious, recreational and touristic etc


The landscape perception study includes the considerations of ‘values’ and ‘tastes’ of the people (Lawenthal, & Hugh,1964,)

The land aesthetic may be interested in different kinds of landscape. The landscape use pattern ought to vary from person to person, e.g. same landscape may be used by different individuals for purposes as enjoyment of scenic beauty, photography, trekking, geo-studies, wild life watching etc. the inter-relationship among the aesthetic factors are difficult to understand and complex, it is also very difficult to assess the visual quality of the landscapes.


The study on tourist resource analysis carried by Ferrario (1978) has been more meaningful quantitative tolls for evaluating tourist resources. It is most suitable model for evaluating tourist resources. He enlisted as many as 2300 features in the South Africa, that features classified into a series of 21 categories as an alphabetically as tourists resources.

The final resulting resource value of a touristic feature could be determined by averaging the different pulling forces of the two components i.e. tourist interests and preferences meansdemand and availability of resource potential means supply.

Ferrario has invented following formula in this regard.

I = A + B/2

Where I: index of tourist resource potential

A: interest and preference of tourist (demand)

B: availability of tourist resource (supply)


The model applied by Ferrario is conceptually more or less the same as used by Gearing, Swart, Var and others (1974, 1977) Gearing and others have been selected a set of seventeen independent variables which are organized into five sub-groups and assigned several numerical values on basis of tourist preferences to these characteristics. Thus the numerical value assigned was taken as an Index of the tourist attractiveness. Following formula has been used in this regard.

The tourist attraction of a district or region ( j ) is :

Tj = f (Nj, Sj, Hj, Rj, Ij)

Where Tj = Total tourist attractiveness

Nj = Natural factors,

Sj = Social factors

Hj = Historical factors

Ri=Recreational & shopping opportunities

Ij = Accessibility and accommodation


While applying any of the above approaches for assessment of tourist resource potential in any area, region there aught to be the common stapes mentioned as follows:

  • Identification of tourist resources and mapping of available tourist resources in the study area.
  • Assessment of the degree of tourist interests and preferences for each of these features.
  • Lastly determining the tourist resource value in qualitative or quantitative terms.

Natural Factors :

Natural environment provides greater scope for tourism. Nature has always been man’s comforter. Physical attractions are amongst important essential components for success of tourism development. In the study area, there are numerous physical components like mountains, waterfalls, lakes (natural and man-made), a beautiful forest, river, a sunny warm climate. Which offer great attraction to the tourist. Physical landscape and natural features of the Nashik district capable to stimulate tourist activity.


Climate :

Climate has been plays a violet role in tourism in both way as an encouragement and also as an impediment to tourist traffic. Bhatia (1982) The various forms of outdoor-recreation activities are largely dependent on the reasonable extremes of temperature, sunshine, and humidity, wind velocity, amount of rainfall and other weather phenomenon, which should be conducive for visitors. Nashik district offers more attractive prospects with its combination of cool, pleasant summer climate along with its enchanting natural setting. Most of places which are situated at the high altitude of north, north-west and western portion of the district has been almost ideal climatic conditions which helps to attract the tourist in summer season. i.e. Igatpuri, Trimbeakeshwar, Saptashringigad, Anjaneri, Devolali and salher, etc. are famous for its ideal climate. Therefore, many tourists have visited these places during the summer season.


Scenic Beauty:

Landscape attraction like good weather is very important factor in tourism. Scenery or the landscape consisting of mountain, lakes, waterfalls, forests, etc. are strong forces attracting people to visit them. Breathtaking Mountain scenery exerts a strong fascination for the tourist. The magnificent mountain range provide an atmosphere of peace and tranquility mountains carry greater aesthetic appeal than low relief landforms in terms of scenic beauty. The mountain parts of the district have vast potential for tourism development. On the north – west, west, south – west and center of the district, the syhadrian hill that forms a narrow belt have straight and sharply rising stopes.

The general direction of mountain range is form west to east or south-west to north-east except of the Syahadri. The higher portion being near the west.


Water Bodies (Rivers, Lakes, Dam):

Water bodies play very crucial role in the recreation activities of tourist. Therefore, water bodies constitute major resource potential for tourism development of any region. Rivers, Lakes, dams, kunds, waterfall etc. are the main resource for the touristic activities, i.e. swimming, boating, skiing, river rafting and mostly adventurous activities related only on the availability of water bodies. An attempt has been made to study the waterbodies as the tourism potential of the district to develop tourism in terms of water related tourist activities


Water reserions: Major Dams: Medium Dams

Water Falls :


Flora and Fauna :

Floral and funal resources play important role for recreational activities of tourist. Recreational value of floral wealth has been increasing rapidly from the view point of the tourist since the nature accompanies them all along their journey in the form of wayside trees, parks, pleasure gardens etc.

Nashik district has been very unique in floral wealth. The forests in the district are one of the important forest of the state.

Parks and Gardens:

Wild life, Wildlife Sanctuaries


Socio – Cultural Factors:

The Sacio-cultural interest exerts a powerful attraction for many tourists. Since many centuries, religion, historical, cultural and archaeological factors had profound influence on the traveller.

Hence religion, historical and cultural features seen to be powerful attraction for many tourists. Such factors (appeal to) attract not only domestic tourist but foreign tourist also. Larger number of tourist are visited every year at various religion, cultural, historical and archaeological places in Nashik district. These places have been discussed under the following categories: -

Center of religion importance,

Center of historical and archaeological importance, Center of Commercial, Industrial, Scientific and Educational Institution of special tourist interest.



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University of Colorado, Boulder pp-1-8

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