Barcelona Field Studies Centre

Classifying Tourists

There are many different types of tourists, which can be classified in a number of ways:

By product

Mass Tourism Alternative Tourism
Package tour Ecotourism

By nature of the activity:

Active Passive
Adventure tourism
Beach holiday

Location preference

Coastal Rural City Mountains Lakes
Costa Brava Garrotxa Barcelona Pyrenees Banyoles

Duration of trip and distance travelled

Day trip Weekend break Annual holiday
Local National International

By purpose

Business or Pleasure

Pleasure: need for change, see something new
* Culture (ethnic)
* History, heritage
* Nature-based (eco-) tourism
* Farm-based, rural tourism
* Personal development, health
* Visit friends, family
* Social status (to brag!)
* Recreation

By age/socio-economic group

Backpackers Empty Nesters DINKS SINKS Early/Active Retirees Boomers Youth

Backpackers: 18-24 years, no children. Attracted to adventurous activity. Consider themselves travellers not tourists. Generally well-educated. Cost conscious.
DINKS: Double Income No Kids.
SINKS:  Single Income No Kids.
Both Dinks and Sinks: younger people, between 25 and 35 years of age, no children, affluent.
Empty Nesters: Parents whose children have flown the family nest. Between 45 and 55 of age, well educated, high disposable income.
Boomers: members of the baby boom generation in the 1950s.
Between 18 and 25 of age, not well-educated, low disposable income, are used to travelling, (have learned it during the upbringing) and know how to indulge 'the good life'.