Alternative tourism

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Alternative tourism
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Alternative tourism popularity is rising recently, due to more and more voices critical voices towards mass tourism and its negative impact on the environment and local communities tourist destinations. Reality of modern mass tourism is unfortunately often dark, it involves: alcohol abuse, drugs, foreign exchange leakages, illegal trafficking, prostitution. This kind of tourism does not lead participants to a true knowledge of the host country. Often it is only a superficial contact with enclaves prepared for foreigners. Too many tourists leads to the degradation of the exceptional natural and historical sites. This leads to an increase in crime and antagonism between tourists and natives.

Alternative tourism as a fair form of travel

All these risks can be eased, by the alternative tourism. It encourages the development of a fair, equitable and creative forms of travel. It aims to find solutions that lead to mutual understanding, solidarity and equality between the parties concerned. The main purpose of alternative tourism is to seek contact with the indigenous peoples. In this way it allows newcomers to learn the culture of the visited country or region and its economic history and way of life.

Mental and physical requirements of alternative tourist

Alternative tourism is characterized by a high degree of difficulty of its practice. Very often it forces people to considerable physical and mental effort, which can be compared to qualified tourism. The result is that the participant of this type of tourism should have a suitable physical and mental preparation and good knowledge of language and travel arrangements.

Alternative tourism is trying to find and spread the possibilities of different, unconventional forms of tourism. It is concentrated on the sightseeing, culture, history, cuisine of target country. Is performed mainly in small informal groups of friends. It is an attempt to escape from the typical mass leisure activities, which are full of flaws. This type of tourism should be a good complement to mass tourism but probably it never replace it.

Main postulates of alternative tourism

The main postulates of alternative tourism are:

  • provide good and feasible solutions different from mass forms of tourism
  • a fair distribution of income among the residents of the territories and companies supporting this form of travel
  • facilitating such contact between tourists and the local population to enrich both sides, and also guaranteed the dignity and rights of both parties
  • respect for the population of visited sites for their religion, culture and mentality
  • abandonment of any symptoms of colonialism in tourism.

See also:


  • Brohman, J. (1996). New directions in tourism for third world development. Annals of tourism research, 23(1), 48-70.
  • Butler, R. W. (1990). Alternative tourism: pious hope or Trojan horse?. Journal of Travel Research, 28(3), 40-45.
  • Pearce, D. G. (1992). Alternative tourism: Concepts, classifications, and questions. Tourism alternatives: Potentials and problems in the development of tourism, 15-30.