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back from the constant struggles of daily life to consider what is really important in life.

Only then will we know what areas of our life need improvement. While this view of
leisure offers many avenues for humanistic understanding, it shares the challenges of the
non-work time definition by leaving a lot of room for subjective interpretation.
While each of these views has its flaws, a combination of these views offers a fuller
definition of leisure. Leisure is, therefore, an activity that spans a period of time and
which is chosen of one’s own free will instead of a work or social obligation, and
which allows for personal relaxation, contemplation and rejuvenation.

Geography and Leisure

Almost every aspect of life is interwoven with leisure (including both recreation and
tourism), either as a leisure activity or as its opposite. Because of this, the study of lei-
sure is undertaken from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, the most prominent
being sociology and economics. Geographers have also made major contributions
to leisure studies, especially in the area of tourism, because of their interests in the
nature and development of places, how people use and behave in places, and the var-
ied relationships that exist between places. The study of geography is distinct in that
it encompasses both the physical sciences (physical geography) and social sciences
(human or cultural geography).

Tourism, Mobility and Migration

Another way of conceptualizing tourism is as a form of voluntary temporary mobil-


ity by which people travel to another location – often for leisure or visiting friends and
relations (VFR). This way of thinking about tourism helps differentiate it from forced
mobility, as in the case of political or environmental refugees, for example, people hav-
ing to move because of a major flood, or permanent migration. The concept of tem-
porary mobility therefore includes a wide range of tourism-related phenomenon such
as leisure travel, health tourism, volunteer tourism, educational travel, travel to second
homes, working holidays and business travel.

Tourism Geography
Geography may be defined as the study of the structure and interaction of two
major systems: (1) the ecological and social systems that link humans to each other
and to their environment and (2) the spatial system that links one area of the earth’s
surface with another. From a geographical point of view, tourism studies requires an
understanding of the places of tourist origin (or tourist generating areas), tourist des-
tinations, and the relationship between the place of origin and the destination, which
includes transportation routes, business and marketing relationships, and traveler
motivations.
This chapter introduces many of the essential concepts of tourism geography. The
remaining chapters primarily focus on a geographic understanding of tourism regions
and destinations. The geographic approach to understanding regions and places is
approached from two basic perspectives: physical geography and human geography.

INTRODUCTION 3