Academic journal article Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends

Mountain Tourism in Romania and Its Attractivness on Students

Academic journal article Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends

Mountain Tourism in Romania and Its Attractivness on Students

Article excerpt

Tourism is increasingly more popular in all its forms. One of the current trends is the growing diversity of types of tourism developed in the last 20 years. Old forms of tourism are transforming themselves; they are rediscovered by tourists in innovative approaches. Tourism agents are offering to tourists more activities and challenges while on travel. These phenomena are especially true in the case of mountain tourism.

Mountain tourism is one of the oldest forms of tourism, particularly in Romania. Some of the oldest associations were formed by people loving the mountains and mountaineering in all its forms. The oldest organization, founded in 1880, is the Siebenburgischer Karpatenverein (SKU). In the following years other associations interested in promoting mountain tourism started, especially in Transylvania. These associations are among the first to establish accommodation facilities in Romania (i.e. chalets), of course, into mountain areas. The aims of these associations where primarily to promote the idea of mountains, to make others love the mountains and to make people to be more "alive". (Wedekind, 2005) Part of these associations seem to have had also educational aims, since many of their members were teachers. Nowadays persons interested in mountain tourism are extremely diverse, as well as the opportunities to travel into the mountains.

Mountain tourists' typology

Trying to define tourists was never easy. Such attempts have also been called segmentation, classification, clustering. In order to plan, manage and develop tourism, distinct tourist types have to be identified (Smith & Smale, 1980; Taylor, 1986). Tourist typology information makes it easier to state different motivations, to launch more experiences, and evaluate impacts of tourism. It is also a piece of basic information in understanding which tourists types are more likely to be found at different stages in the evolution of tourism areas (Duffus & Dearden, 1990). A connection between tourism types and resources is important when talking about tourism typology. For example, Cohen (1972) proposes a four-part tourist typology, based on the tourist's desire for familiarity and the level of institutionalization preferred.

Organized mass tourism and individual mass tourism are a part of the institutionalized tourism, which faces the routine of tourist industry. The exploratory tourist and the non-conventional type are a part of the non-institutionalized tourism or solitary tourism, where getting in touch with tourism industry is not necessary an option. All the four types are to be met into the mountains, but the first one--tourists preferring organized mass tourism--in a lesser extent. The dimensions of Smith's tourist typology (1977) are similar, but more detailed; as the classification was made according to the impact that tourism has on the environment and to the tourist relations to the destination.

According to Murphy (1985), there are two general categories of tourist typologies; interactional and cognitive-normative. First, interactional tourist typologies are primarily based on the interactions between the tourists and the destination. Using the same topic, and based on travel behavior, interests and opinions, as trip indices, Uysal & McDonald (1989) came up with other similar interactional tourist typologies. The main point is that interactional tourist typologies are used in tourism research studies which identify tourists, based on activities. Mountains offer a suitable frame for various activities, both nature-and person-related. When considering mountain tourism, in many cases, the interaction with nature or host communities is the main purpose of travel (e.g. climbing, rafting, riding, rural tourism etc.)

Second, cognitive-normative tourist typologies focus on the travel motivations of tourists. For example, in Plog's vision (1972), a tourist typology recognizes allocentrics (adventuresome, individual travel), mid-centrics (individual travel to destinations with facilities), and psychocentrics (packaged holidays to popular destinations), depending on how tourists conform to societal or individual desires. …

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