Specialty tourism

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Specialty tourism concept, also called qualified tourism or adventure tourism, is growing form of activity taken by more advanced and competent people..

Practising this kind of tourism requires special equipment and special skills, readiness for many hardships, fitness preparation, ability to behave in the wild. It gives the opportunity to explore new cultures and societies that are not typical targets for ordinary tourists. Additionally it satisfies emotional needs, develops technical skills and orientation in terrain and foreign culture. Specialty tourism can be undertaken individually and collectively, in informal groups and organized forms, sometimes combined with elements of competition.

The term "qualified tourism" is derived from:

  • Personal qualifications, which must be possessed by a tourist,
  • qualification of tourist achievements, achieving tourism feat as compared to the sport.

Forms of specialty tourism


Here we include both lowland and mountain tourism, which enjoy great popularity all over the world. It gives the opportunity to learn about nature, culture, monuments, landscapes, etc.. It has positive effect on human health, resulting in the strengthening of psychophysical strength. The most common routes of choice for tourists are mountain trails.


It is another very popular form of tourism. We can distinguish cycling on-road and off-road. This kind of tourism may include a high-performance touring as well and competitive forms of activities. In temperate climates this type of tourism is rather seasonal, performed mainly in the summer.

Horse-riding tourism

It involves recreational horse riding in the special centers and in the field. There are lowland and mountain horse riding tourism. Special form of horse riding is so called hippotherapy, which is a form of rehabilitation for the disabled.

Ski tourism

This type of tourism has a nature of sport and recreation. There are two main forms of ski tourism: cross-country skiing and downhill skiing. With cross-country skiing people enhance the psychophysical strength and also allows to visit attractive places. However, the more popular is downhill skiing mainly in Europe and North America.

Spelunking - speleological tourism

This form of tourism involves exploring caves. Caves usually are prepared and have equipment, such as: lighting, stairs, paths, elevators, are various security measures. Sightseeing in caves is usually guided. In the caves there is not a humid climate and no allergens in the air and thus some of the caves are used for the treatment of diseases, particularly of respiratory tract.

Fig. 1. Marina in Svaneke / Denmark

Sailing tourism

Sailing until recently was the exclusive tourism, and even today it is costly. To enjoy sailing people have gain a lot of knowledge on the subject and have confirmation of ownership of the patent or sailor helmsman.

Diving tourism

As a sport and hobby began to spread in the XXth century. Today diving is very popular and widely available tourist activity. It provides an immerse sensations and beautiful views. The most popular areas recommended for novice divers are:, the Red Sea, Caribbean sea, Indian Ocean, Thailand.

Other forms of tourism are described in the extreme tourism article.

Advantages of Specialty tourism

Specialty tourism, also called qualified tourism or adventure tourism, is a growing form of activity taken by more advanced and competent people. It offers a variety of advantages that can be beneficial to both the tourists and the destination. The following are the key advantages of specialty tourism:

  • It provides unique and high-quality experiences. Specialty tourism allows visitors to experience a destination in a way that is different and more meaningful than standard tourist activities. Visitors can immerse themselves in local culture, take part in activities that are not accessible to the general public, or explore areas that are off the beaten path.
  • It promotes sustainable tourism practices. Specialty tourism encourages visitors to respect the environment and local culture. Specialty tourism companies and tour operators may also promote ecotourism, support local businesses, and be more conscious about their energy consumption and waste.
  • It generates higher revenue. Specialty tourism activities typically involve higher prices than standard tourist activities, which can lead to increased revenue for the destination. Furthermore, specialty tourism can also attract higher-spending visitors who may stay longer and spend more money in the area.
  • It helps boost local economies. Specialty tourism can help to create jobs and generate income for local people and businesses. In addition, specialty tourism activities can help to preserve the natural environment, culture, and heritage of the destination, which can also help to boost the local economy.

Limitations of Specialty tourism

Specialty tourism, also known as qualified tourism or adventure tourism, is a growing form of activity taken by more advanced and competent people. However, this type of tourism does come with certain limitations, including:

  • The high cost of specialized equipment: Many specialty tourism activities require specialized equipment that can be expensive, making it difficult for those with a limited budget to participate.
  • Environmental impact: Specialty tourism activities can have a significant impact on the environment, both directly and indirectly. This includes water pollution, air pollution, and soil erosion.
  • Safety: Many specialty tourism activities are inherently dangerous, and can pose a risk to the safety of participants. It is important to ensure that the proper safety precautions are taken, and that the activity is suitable for all participants.
  • Availability of trained guides: Specialty tourism activities often require specialized knowledge and experience. It is important to ensure that the activity is led by qualified and experienced guides.
  • The challenge of finding suitable locations: Some specialty tourism activities require specific environments or locations, which can be difficult to find in some areas. This can limit the availability of these activities in certain areas.

Other approaches related to Specialty tourism

Specialty tourism is a form of activity that more competent, experienced and adventurous people engage in. There are several approaches related to this concept, including:

  • Eco-tourism - this approach is about travelling to undisturbed and untouched areas of nature, observing and learning about the environment, and taking part in activities that minimize the impact on the natural environment.
  • Wellness tourism - this is about visiting places to improve physical and mental health, and includes activities such as yoga, meditation, spa treatments, and more.
  • Cultural tourism - this is about travelling to a place to learn about its culture and way of life, such as visiting a country's museums, monuments, and other historical sites.
  • Gastronomy tourism - this is about visiting places to experience the local cuisine, and to learn about the culture and traditions associated with it.
  • Dark tourism - this is about visiting places associated with death and tragedy, such as battlefields, prisons, and genocide memorials.

In summary, specialty tourism is a form of activity that more experienced, competent and adventurous people engage in, and there are several approaches related to it, including eco-tourism, wellness tourism, cultural tourism, gastronomy tourism, and dark tourism.

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