Tourist attractions are the fourth “A “of tourism. They are one of the main reasons people travel. Hence, without any doubt, we can say that attractions are the main motivators for travel in the tourism industry.

Meaning of Tourist Attractions

Tourist attractions are one of the major components of tourism. It can be in various forms. Different forms of tourist attractions appeal the travelers according to their age, interests, etc.

Therefore, attractions are the core of the tourist experience and the reasons people travel to a particular destination.

The word attraction is viewed by travelers in different ways. They view tourism attractions in the form of Man-made attractions, land attractions, and also water attractions. Hence, the nature of attractions is different from each other.

Thus, it is not easy to categorized attractions and there is likely to be some overlap. Almost anything can be an attraction, and appeal to a person according to his/her age, interest, etc. Therefore, attractions can be grouped into different categories based on the strongest pull factor or motivator.

Types of Tourist Attractions

To understand the various forms of attraction, it is important to categorize the attraction into different segments.

Natural Attraction:

Natural attractions play an important role to attract large numbers of tourists. These include dominant land or water, flora, fauna, climate, etc. that may form the main attraction or provide supporting features of most attractions.

An Example of Natural Attractions is Niagara Falls located in New York.

Man-made Attractions:

They are attractions that are created by humans. It is a large category that includes resorts, theme parks, or amusement parks, etc. The man-made attractions are built to attract travelers. These attractions include zoos, aquariums, sports stadiums, etc.

An example of a Man-Made Attraction is Disney Land.

Business Related:

Metro cities are the focal point of business activity. This city is surrounded by complete technology, infrastructure, finance, and also government offices. Therefore, these facilities attract business travelers to release new products, MICE activities, etc.

Friends and Relatives:

This is an important attraction or travel motivator in our country. Friends and relatives attract a person to visit them along with their guests. A person visits their friends and relatives when they live far away from them. They make a visit during the holidays or festival season. The main aim is to strengthen personal bonding and take part in tourism activities.

Heritage Attraction:

Heritage attractions are the remains of ancient culture, monuments, etc. These are the place where important events have occurred in the past. The attractions showcase the past lifestyle and regime.

While visiting heritage attractions, it is often accompanied by the translator. The translator creates more enthusiasm by educating the importance of heritage sites.

An example of a heritage Attraction is a visit to Mysore Palace in Karnataka.

Cultural Attraction:

The cultural attraction is travel to cultural sites to access the charm of local communities. It describes people’s culture and traditions of the host communities. These attractions showcase people’s traditions, culture, customs, etc.

Different cultural events are organized in different places. The cultural events are special to guests for various reasons. The cultural events depict the culture and traditions of the local people. Further, it provides knowledge of others’ cultures and traditions.

The main aim of the event is to represent the diversity of cultures and traditions. Therefore, cultural attraction needs to be preserved and protected. At the same time, the sentiment of the host culture must be respect because this is a sensitive issue.

Medical attraction:

Preventing one’s health has been a popular reason to travel with the discovery of the curative powers of mineral springs. As a result, health spas, health resorts, or sanatoriums for convalescents and famous spas using Ayurveda and herbal oil massages are now becoming popular at many destinations.

The person who travels for medical reasons has contributed to the movement of people. These travelers are directly or indirectly engaged in tourism-related activities.

Religious attractions:

A religious appeal has been a powerful attraction since ancient times. The element of faith is one of the main reasons that attract tourists to pilgrimage sites. Therefore, every year thousands of people travel for religious reasons. Some famous religious attractions are the Vatican City, Rome, Jerusalem, Mecca, etc.

Traveling to Hajj in Mecca is an example of Religious attraction.

Special events:

It is an attraction that attracts people for a short duration. The special events are usually held annually or at regular intervals of time. It is a specially organized event. The event can be at the national or international level. An example of an international special event can be the Olympic Games. An example of a National special event is the Pune Festival which takes place every year, during the month of September.

Government Attraction:

National capitals and state capitals are surrounded by government headquarters, monuments, museums, etc. These special places have become an important place for tourist. For example, the White House in Washington DC and the Parliament House in New Delhi.

The Fundamental Attractions of Tourism

Pleasant weather

A destination with pleasant weather is one of the most important aspects of tourism. Pleasant weather is important because it plays a crucial role to make the holiday perfect. Lots of visitors with unpleasant climates visit a country that has pleasant weather. In fact, the clear sunshine and sea breeze on the beach has attracted many visitors.

In addition, the growth of spas and resorts in most countries results in the tourists’ desire to enjoy pleasing weather.

Scenic Attractions

Scenic attractions can be in the form of landscapes, hills, lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, forests, deserts, etc. It is a strong force that drives people to visit. Mountain scenery and coastal views provide a strong tourist attraction. Beautiful mountain ranges offer a peaceful and quiet atmosphere.

Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, African peaks, Lakes, Deserts, etc. are an excellent source of scenic attractions for many visitors around the globe. In fact, these attractions have helped in many ways in the growth of the tourism industry.

Historical and Cultural Factors

Historical and Cultural are a strong force that attracts a large number of people. They have had a profound impact on travelers for many years. E.g. visiting the Taj Mahal in India because of its historical significance. This type of attraction is a place that has historical, traditional, and cultural importance to attract huge people.


It is important because it provides transport to reach attractions. If the attraction does not have good transport, the movement of people will be less. Tourist attractions with a better road receive a good number of visitors. The distance factor of a place plays a major role in choosing a tourist place. Longer distance consumes more time than short distance travel.

Additional Information on Tourism.

Meaning of Tourism

The word tourism has a wider scope; it is not just a global holiday or air travel. When you think about tourism, many ideas might come to your mind. Tourism can be a visit to hill stations, snow-covered hills, beaches, or a long journey, etc.

Pleasure, fun, leisure, packing bags, credit cards, shopping, and spending money might come to your mind when you think of tourism.

Your views on tourism will depend on the experience of the past. Then what will the word tourism mean and what will it cover?

Nowadays, the word tourism is closely related to recreation and leisure. After fulfilling our basic requirements such as work and sleep, free time is the time we have with us. Recreation is an activity that we enjoy doing during our free time. Both recreational and leisure are an important factor to overcome the busy schedule of daily life. Hence, in many ways’ tourism is an activity for recreation and leisure.

For example snorkeling in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Most tourism recreational activities are enjoyed during free time or weekends.

Types of Tourists


Tourist who visits another country or a place outside their usual workplace is called a visitor. The visitor is engaged in various services which include rest and relaxation.

Visitors can be tourists or excursionist.


A tourist is a short-term movement from the usual place of residence or workplace. The main motives are a short-term change from his everyday life. A traveler who stays more than 24 hours in a place is called a tourist.


A person who visits a tourist place and returns back within 24 hours is called an excursionist.

An Excursionist does not stay overnight. For example, a person visits a nearby place in the morning and returns in the afternoon.

Domestic tourism

It is a movement of people within a country. A person who is traveling from Delhi to Mumbai to visit friends is a Domestic tourist.

International tourism is travel to another country.

International tourists are of two types:

Inbound Tourism

Inbound tourism is the tourists entering a country regardless of the purpose of the visit. For example, an American traveling to India for health reasons.

Outbound tourism

Outbound tourism is tourists traveling to another country. For example, A tourist traveling from India to America to visit New York City.


A traveler is a person who travels from one place to another regardless of the purpose of the visit, length of stay and distance traveled. All tourists are travelers but all travelers and visitors are not a tourist.

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