Encyclopedia of Tourism

Living Edition
| Editors: Jafar Jafari, Honggen Xiao

Activity, tourism

  • Juan L. NicolauEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-01669-6_494-1


Proper Activity Segmentation Strategy Restorative Property Company Level Cultural Management 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Activity is a term that encompasses all the deeds, occupations, and actions carried out by tourists. Be it at the destination or the company level, the organization of proper activities is crucial for marketing strategies. Certainly, they form a relevant attribute of the choice alternatives as it might lead an individual to choose a specific destination or company. Therefore, the activities available play a relevant role in tourism decisionmaking.

The acclaimed restorative properties of tourism are directly derived from tourists’ participation in activities at the destination. The literature has emphasized the relationship (and comparison) between at-home recreation activities and those realized on vacations (Brey and Lehto 2007). The prospects of doing different activities from those done at home attract people to a destination. Accordingly, the existence of specific activities helps destinations design adequate segmentation strategies as well as manage social interactions. In line with Gibson (2006), activities bring social and tourist dimensions together at a destination, leading to interactions among tourists themselves, as well as between tourists and local residents. In fact, these activities represent the point at which tourism facilitates human contact to its highest degree.

Two fundamental points have been stressed in the literature. From the supply side, activities have environmental implications; hence decisions and actions should attempt to balance tourists’ satisfaction, residents’ wellbeing, and destination sustainability. From the demand side, participations in an activity can be the result of a behavioral trait. In terms of Carr’s (2002) tourism-leisure behavioral continuum, “residual culture” (leisure behavior people show at home which is more habit driven) and “tourist culture” (behavior they exhibit at holiday destinations which is more liberated and hedonism driven) are two central factors that can influence tourist behavior and, specifically, the activities they choose.

Strongly linked to this concept, and relevant to destinations, is the notion of price from a marketing viewpoint, where both monetary and nonmonetary efforts must be considered to analyze tourists’ willingness to participate in certain activities. Accordingly, Nicolau (2011) introduces the concept of “predisposition to effort,” where the monetary effort (price of transport and accommodation) and the nonmonetary effort (time invested in getting to the destination) are influenced by the activities available at the destination.

As emotions play an important role in tourist satisfaction (Kim and Fesenmaier 2014), measuring and knowing what and how people feel when taking part in an activity would help find internal intricacies of behavior relevant to the design of activities. Also, synergies among activities – old and new – can open up further avenues for research.


  1. Brey, E., and X. Lehto 2007 The Relationship between Daily and Vacation Activities. Annals of Tourism Research 34:160-180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carr, N. 2002 The Tourism-Leisure Behavioral Continuum. Annals of Tourism Research 29:972-986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gibson, L. 2006 Learning Destinations: The Complexity of Tourism Development. Karlstad: Karlstad University Studies.Google Scholar
  4. Kim, J., and D. Fesenmaier 2014 Measuring Emotions in Real Time: Implications for Tourism Experience Design. Journal of Travel Research, doi:10.1177/0047287514550100.Google Scholar
  5. Nicolau, J.L. 2011 Monetary and Non-monetary Efforts for Leisure Activities. Annals of Tourism Research 38:801-819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EconomicsUniversity of AlicanteAlicanteSpain