Alternative tourism combines tourist products or individual tourist services, different from mass tourism by means of supply, organization and the human resources involved. It is often referred to as "trendy,” replacing other semantical terms such as "different" or "other tourism.” Other examples of different terms include "intelligent" or "motivated tourism.” In addition, "anti-tourism" or "participative tourism" are some others. That was just to name few of them.
The term "alternative tourism" tries to include the concepts of active tourism as well as explorer and encounter travel even with the concept of committed tourism. The following lists try to enumerate some of the styles of alternative tourism. Sources that state a number of different styles are and
Explore and encounter travel
Since the term alternative is ambiguous, there are numerous critical remarks stating that the concept is only " (...) a fashionable idea among those who are dissatisfied with the nature of mass tourism (...)". The critics state, that alternative tourism lacks a clear definition of what is the tourism style alternative to. The origins of the term can be found in two alternating concepts:
- Rejection of modern mass consumerism
- Concern about the social impact in third-world countries
Others express their critical opinions regarding the term as fetish-adjective, miracle-word, mythical-term.
- Vagionis, N.: Alternative tourism in Bulgaria: diversification and sustainability,
- Cazes, G. H..: "ALTERNATIVE TOURISM" - REFLECTIONS ON AN AMBIGUOUS CONCEPT, in: Singh, T. V., Theuns, H. L., Go, F. M.: Towards Appropriate Tourism: The Case of Developing Countries, Frankfurt am Main, 1989, ISBN 3-631-40794-7, p. 117-126
- Cohen, E.: "ALTERNATIVE TOURISM" - A CRITIQUE, in: Singh, T. V., Theuns, H. L., Go, F. M.: Towards Appropriate Tourism: The Case of Developing Countries, Frankfurt am Main, 1989, ISBN 3-631-40794-7, p. 127-142
- Bulgarian Association for Alternative Tourism
- Green Olive Tours - Travel Agency for Alternative Tourism in Palestine/Israel
- Arttours - Artists exploring alternative tourism in Stuttgart