Currently, there are many aspects of tourism. These are leisure, recreation, sports, and parks. They are closely connected to one another. However, these relations depend on the needs of travelers. A tourist is an active or passive subject of tourism activities, which are determined by the relationship of these concepts. With time, tourist activity is differentiated from the traditional types associated with the culture, sports, to the latest, such as adventure tourism, rural tourism, etc. Constantly, there are new interconnections of different aspects of tourism appearing. This paper will examine how leisure, recreation, sports, parks, and tourism are related to one another as well as provide real world examples of these relations.
Relation of the Concepts
Leisure is not only fun and pleasure but also a global industry with a billion turnover, growing from year to year. Leisure is connected to tourism as one of its main motives. People travel in search of new unforgettable impressions, positive emotions, and thrills. To meet these and other needs of people, different means of entertainment are created and entertainment events are held. Often, leisure within tourism is limited to an excursion program – visiting museums, a tour of historical sites and natural attractions, sightseeing tours around the city and countryside. In addition, leisure within tourism may also include other educational or entertainment activities (e.g., shopping or gambling). Thus, resorts and reputable hotels hire a dedicated staff of animators for the entertainment of tourists.
Sports tourism is a sport that has the purpose of improving people’s capability for overcoming natural obstacles through the application of different tactics and techniques. Many of these tourists are also involved in related sports: orienteering and multisport, climbing, mountaineering, rafting, mountain biking, skiing, yachting, and other tourists sports including a reserve for the training of rescuers in the natural environment.
Sport is also tightly connected to tourism and leisure. Sports tourism is a team sport, marked by a strong tradition of mutual support and assistance, sports discipline, self-improvement, and mutual transfer of knowledge and experience. Passion for sports tourism allows people to get acquainted with the culture and life of various countries and peoples, wonderful, often unique, nature, and interesting sites along with enjoying communication and getting reliable companions. Participation in the sports hikes of the primary categories of difficulty and distances, as a rule, does not require significant financial costs, while at the same time, allows people to obtain the necessary basic skills and the pleasure of participating in campaigns and competitions. Due to the relative availability of sports, children and student youth, as well as all other sections of the population, regardless of their social status and wealth, engage in this kind of tourism. There are several types of sports tourism such as hiking, where the movement of the tourist along the route is made mainly on foot. For the higher categories of complexity (in areas with difficult terrain and climatic conditions), the main task is to overcome the obstacles in relief and landscape on foot whereas ski tourism presupposes that travel along the tourist route is made mainly on skis. The main task here is to overcome the obstacles in relief and landscape on snow or snow and ice on skis, for higher categories of complexity – in the harsh climatic zones and in mountainous terrain. In mountaineering (hiking at high altitudes), the main goal is to pass the mountain passes, climb peaks, and traverse the mountain ranges. In its turn, water tourism (rafting on the alloy tools, or vessels), is usually realized in mountainous areas.
Recreation is a field of tourism, whose aim to organize the treatment of citizens abroad and the improvement of health. In a broad sense, the term “recreation” includes virtually all types of tourism. Any travel can be considered recreational and any tourist activity is recreational by nature, e.g., hiking as a kind of recreation. The term “recreational tourism” is also used to separate tourism aimed at the restoration and development of physical health, including emotional and intellectual capacities of people, from tourism, aimed at the achievement of sports results. In this case, the recreation is defined as the totality of the phenomena and processes related to the restoration of power in the process of rest and treatment. The goal of recreational tourism is a complete rest, therapy (rehabilitation), and improvement of tourism human resources. Under the conditions of the globalization of health as one of the sectors of economy, more and more countries are investing in recreational tourism. They prepare highly qualified specialists in the best medical schools in the world and build comfortable clinics equipped with the latest technology. Often, such countries have a well-developed tourism industry. Such policy gives visitors an opportunity to not only improve their health condition with the help of medical services offered, but also receive relaxation, visit local sights, etc. Finally, the greatest stream of recreational tourism clients in all areas is connected with the recreation at health resorts, plastic surgery, and dental treatment. Such practice has already been established, thereby providing access to both recreation and medical services. In addition, it is a profitable business, which regularly receives updates about new players and promotes its services despite the competitive environment.
An integral part of leisure activities and tourism is the organization of leisure in the parks. At the end of the XX century, parks turned into social-pedagogical complexes that perform educational, recreational, social, educational, cultural, and ecological functions. A park complex offers a wide range of services: creative activities, golf, tennis, cycling, swimming, field trips, playgrounds for children, cultural clubs, health groups, and various forms of leisure activities, including ballet performances on the water, evenings for adults, game competitions, sports, and recreational programs. According to their functional features, parks are divided into specialized (sports, historical, children, zoological) and multifunctional (park complexes, theme parks). Theme parks are especially popular in the world. The specific features of modern parks are determined by their development as polyfunctional places. They are complexes for leisure, combining the environment with technological advances as well as versatile and original leisure concepts. Parks promote multiculturalism in park activities enabling the popularization of people’s world cultures through festivals, gaming competitions, carnivals, spectacular shows, national holidays, days of art, and the power supply. In addition, they ensure the protection and preservation of the environment and parks’ development as a tourist attraction.
Real World Examples of These Relations
Theme parks occupy a special place in the global leisure and tourism industry. They provide serious competition for traditional destinations with many historical and cultural attractions. The modern model of theme parks first appeared in Europe, although, generally, Walt Disney, an American film director, animator, artist, and producer is considered their founder. Theme parks became particularly popular due to Disney Park – ‘Disneyland’ opened in California, USA. Its concept significantly influenced their further development. Permanent exhibitions in Disneyland reflect America’s history and the cultures of different peoples. Disneyland extended camping in many countries – France, Japan, and Germany. Disney leisure park concept includes a high aesthetic level of the landscape; skilled staff and appropriate quality of work; the unity of all elements of the park area (nature, buildings, excursion trails, thematic areas, design, shopping centers) and their subordination to the same goal; the organization of family leisure, not only individual members; strict adherence to the rules of conduct in the park, which prohibit smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages, walking without shoes, a slovenly appearance, etc.; a combination of different types and forms of activities; timely taking into account the desires and needs of customers and their satisfaction with the quality; constant technical improvements, update themed events, and performances.
From the general information offered by the visitors during excursions in the park, the establishment of the entertainment industry has moved to a full-fledged organization of educational process. Thus, theme parks emit large trust funds for education by setting up special schools, opening courses, inviting teachers to conduct classes, and producing educational books.
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In terms of tourist involvement in the recreational treatment, the list of European countries is headed by the Czech Republic. The largest and most famous Czech recreational resort is Karlovy Vary. According to the National Tourism Administration of the Czech Republic, each year, it is visited by about 50 thousand people from more than 70 countries for the treatment and about 2 million trippers. The resort’s history is inextricably linked to the discovery and development of mineral springs. After the discovery of the first one, other sources have been found as well. The chemical composition of Karlovy Vary mineral waters is useful for health. Geyser salt, which is produced in large quantities here, is exported to many countries of the world. Karlovy Vary made an introduction of advanced methods of treatment, which have not lost their relevance at present. The treatment with a bath of mineral water, as well as drinking it next to the source, combined with long walks in the fresh air are the main activities in this place. Today, Karlovy Vary welcomes visitors from all the five continents.
In the world-famous Club Med, which includes 105 tourism villages in all parts of the world and has two luxurious sailboats largest in the world, there are several schools of trainers for the organization of leisure for guests. Gentil organization, or abbreviated Gio, as they are commonly called, are recruited from among educated, sociable people following a certain philosophy of life and respect for the individuality of others. These young boys and girls are fluent in several different foreign languages, have music and dance abilities. Gios does all necessary formalities and provides different kinds of services. Gios are sports coaches and afternoon entertainers, who are also partners for performances, games, and dance at the disco in evening. The close interaction of tourists and the staff – a distinctive feature of the club – make leisure in this system very attractive and desirable. Through a single service concept based on internationalism, the club has achieved good results.
Tourists go on a journey with the objective of recreation or leisure; rehabilitation (expanded recovery and development of the physical and intellectual abilities as well as emotional sphere); treatment and knowledge (obtaining new information about nature, society, history, the present of mankind, the culture of other countries and peoples); sports activities (preparation and participation in competitions at professional and amateur levels or as traveling fans). Among the offers of the major operators in the tourism market, there are tours, which make it possible to connect leisure, recreation, sports, parks, and tourism. For an extremely short period, one can enjoy relaxation in the natural environment combined with the study of other cultures, eco-tourism, a healthy, active lifestyle, as well as medical and adventure tours. All of the above listed possibilities testify to competitive advantages of present-day tourism.