The concept of tourist flows and the geography of tourism

Keywords: concepts of tourism geography, behavioral geography, tourist flows, apperception of the usual environment, basic tourist motives, conceptual model


The critical analysis of the main concepts of the geography of tourism was carried out. It was found that the most popular among them are devoted to the destinations of tourists, which is correct for recreation, and for tourism only half is adequate because of the one-sidedness, since the usual environment where the tourist comes from is ignored, where, in fact, recreational needs are formed that only afterwards will be satisfied in the destination. In order to avoid this drawback, it is proposed to consider tourism as a form of population migration through tourist flows connecting the places of origin and destination of tourists, which makes it possible to see this phenomenon holistically. As a theoretical and methodological foundation, the paradigm of behavioral geography was chosen, which considers the territorial behavior of people through their life lines, which appear in tourism as tourist trips. At the same time, it matters mass behaviors as unidirectional numerous trips that form tourist flows. The dialectical nature of the tourist flow is revealed, when the places of origin and destination of tourists are united by the mechanical movement of people, based on the opposition of temporary stay in a destination to permanent residence in the usual environment.

As the main author's vision, a conceptual model of the formation and distribution of international tourist flows in the geographical space, which is also relevant for domestic tourism, is proposed and substantiated. It is built on the illumination of the apperception of the usual environment through the formation of dynamic stereotypes, as well as on the basis of the proposed basic tourist motives. These include the motives of migration, comfort, contrast, and aesthetics. The motive of migration that pushes tourists out from the usual environment is consistent with the well-known concept of escapism as a break from the routine of everyday life. The motive of contrast that attracts to destinations different from people’s usual environment is described by the tourist’s inversion behavior suggested by Graburn. All these motives have found their substantiation on the basis of I. Pavlov’s dynamic stereotypes which were helpful in disclosure of one lacking link in understanding the motive of comfort. Basing on all aforesaid motives combined into motivational system structured according to such geographical components of tourism flows as usual environment and destinations, and against the background of such properties of geographical space as length and heterogeneity, a conceptual model of territorial behavior of people in the modus of tourists was suggested.


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Author Biography

Oleksandr Korol, Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University, M. Kotsyubinsky st., 2, Chernivtsi, 58012, Ukraine

DSc (Geography), Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Geography and Management of Tourism


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How to Cite
Korol, O. (2021). The concept of tourist flows and the geography of tourism . Human Geography Journal, 31, 19-36.
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