Miscellaneous

Some forms of tourism don’t quite fall under the other three categories. For example, sports tourism, where people travel to sporting events, and medical and cosmetic tourism, when people travel to have procedures in foreign countries because it is cheaper or quicker than it would be back home. LGBT tourism, literary tourism, and atomic tourism round out this section, appropriately titled “Miscellaneous”.

LGBT Tourism

LGBT Tourism

LGBT tourism, also known as gay tourism, is a niche of tourism marketed to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Typically, these tourists are open about their sexual orientation, but sometimes these vacations allow people to feel more comfortable if they feel closeted at home. The main component of LGBT tourism is for locations and travel services to attract the tourists. LGBT tourism has sometimes been called “gaycation”, which implies a version of a vacation that incorporates some aspect of LGBT culture.

Pros and Cons

Like all forms of tourism, there are positives and negatives to LGBT tourism. For starters, the cost can be incredibly high, depending on where you go.

Travel and accommodation alone can run up to the mid-thousand dollar range. Depending on where you travel, safety may be an issue, particularly in third world or developing countries. Some destinations have anti-gay laws as well, and reports of gay bashings in certain places can be a deterrent to travelling. LGBT tourist trips are becoming more and more popular, however, and it is easy to meet new people and make new friends when on these types of trips. There are also numerous discount-laced LGBT hotel packages which help save on the overall cost of the trip, which many people say is a motivating factor.

Popular Destinations

lgbt2 New York remains as one of the most popular tourist sites in the world for LGBT tourists. New York offers an abundance of activities for people of all sexuality, but its numerous gay clubs, bars, beaches, hotels, and saunas make it one of the most popular places for LGBT tourism. San Francisco and Las Vegas are also extremely popular destinations; also The Castro District in San Francisco is an oft-visited destination. The Castro is a thriving marketplace for all things gay, and there is a sense of acceptance and belonging that is promoted throughout the district that attract many LGBT travellers.

The Road Less Travelled

Perhaps surprisingly, Cape Town in South Africa is an extremely popular tourist destination for LGBT travellers. The most popular spot is Clifton Third, which is known as one of the world’s best gay beaches. It is part of an area that has four beaches, which are popular among LGBT and non-gay travellers alike. lgbt These four beaches are one of the few areas that is well protected from the south-easterly wind, which is part of the reason why they attract so many visitors. Barcelona also has one of the world’s best gay beaches, the Sitges. It is widely considered to be one of the most gay-friendly places in the world.

Costs and Savings

The cost of LGBT tourism depends entirely on where you wish to travel. For those living in the United States, it is significantly cheaper to visit New York or San Francisco than it would be Cape Town or Barcelona. Still, airfare and accommodation, as well as leisure costs, can quickly add up. Luckily, there are many hotels that have discounts for LGBT tourists, and there are also numerous LGBT based tour groups that provide discounted rates for numerous events.

Cosmetic Tourism

Cosmetic Tourism

Similar to medical tourism, cosmetic tourism has become an extremely popular tourism trend. In the past decade, the demand for cosmetic surgery abroad has risen. The primary reason is because it is much cheaper to receive these treatments in developing countries. Cosmetic tourism isn’t all doctors and hospitals, however, as people who go on these trips tend to bring other family members and make a vacation out of it, which further enhances cosmetic tourism’s popularity.

Pros and Cons

The biggest pro to receiving cosmetic surgery abroad is the price. Elective cosmetic surgery is typically not covered by medical insurance, so price is always a factor.

People who live in the United States, for example, can save anywhere from 50% to 90% by travelling abroad. Some places abroad also offer surgery options that aren’t available back home. The United States, for example, heavily regulates its cosmetic surgery, which can make it difficult for people to get exactly what they want. On top of the price and option benefits, many people choose exotic destinations to get their surgery done, which makes it a great place to vacation. There is certainly risk involved, however, and it is possible to develop blood clots or other infections when travelling so soon after receiving surgery. Bargain surgery may end up costing you more in the end as well, due to revision surgeries or complications from the original surgery. As always, its important to weigh the pros with the cons.

Popular Destinations

cosmetic4 One of the most popular destinations in the world for cosmetic surgery is Seoul in South Korea. In 2013 alone, over 15,000 visitors came to South Korea for the sole purpose of receiving cosmetic enhancement. It is also very popular within Korea, as many Korean women have had at least one cosmetic surgery. What makes Seoul so popular and unique is the fact that it’s the world’s top destination for celebrity emulation surgery. Venezuela is another population destination, particularly for buttock augmentation. It is the Caribbean International Plastic Surgery Centre’s signature procedure.

The Road Less Travelled

When someone mentions cosmetic surgery, Turkey is probably not the first place that comes to mind. It might not even be the tenth place. But Turkey has more JCI-accredited health care facilities than the majority of the world, and it receives around 250,000 foreign travellers every year. cosmetic1 The lavish beaches, vacation opportunities, and cut-rate medical prices make Turkey an excellent and underrated place for cosmetic tourism. Hungary is also becoming a renowned hot spot for cosmetic surgery, particularly dentistry. While dental implants may set you back over $3000 in the United States, they cost less than $1000 in Hungary.

Costs and Savings

The biggest benefit of travelling abroad to receive cosmetic surgery is the cost. As a general rule, travellers from the United States save between 50% and 80% on procedures abroad compared to back home. Many countries offer various surgery packages, like South Korea, which offers a complete face and body package for $14,000. In Turkey, the average cost of plastic surgery is less than $1000, which is similar to other countries in Eastern Europe. Of course, you will have to pay for travel and accommodation, and may have to pay for future surgeries and medical bills if you suffer any complications.

Atomic Tourism

Atomic Tourism

A relatively new but increasingly popular form of tourism is atomic tourism. Travellers interested in atomic tourism visit sites where atomic weapons were detonated, vehicles that carried atomic weapons and museums with atomic weapons, all with the intent of learning more about the Atomic Age. Atomic tourism provides a truly unique vacation experience, and some places in the United States allow tours only once a year, adding to the secrecy and mysteriousness of the Atomic Age, which only further increases the popularity of atomic tourism.

Pros and Cons

Like all forms of tourism, atomic tourism has both negatives and positives. Atomic tourism offers a truly unique form of tourism.

While you can visit a beach or resort any time, some atomic sites, particularly in the United States, allow tours only once a year, meaning there is only a limited number of times you able to see any of these sites. Atomic tourism also provides tremendous insight into world history, particularly about the Atomic Age. It can be controversial, however, especially because recently some travellers have journeyed to Japan to the site of the Fukushima disaster, where thousands of people died. It can also be costly, depending on where you wish to go, but it is certainly a unique experience.

Popular Destinations

Destroyed Chernobyl Reactor 4The site of the worst nuclear disaster in history is also the most popular destination for atomic tourists. In 2011, the Ukranian government deemed certain locations in Chernobyl to be safe, allowing visitors to tour the town of Pripyat, feed catfish in the nuclear plant’s cooling pond, and view the sarcophagus built over the plant. It attracts thousands of tourists each year. Oak Ridge in Tennessee is another popular destination, despite the fact that tours only run through the facilities one day a year. Oak Ridge was established as one of the three sites for assisting with the Manhattan Project, and the entire city was off the map until well after World War II. The first city to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon is another popular destination. Hiroshima, in Japan, was bombed by the United States during World War II, and 30% of the city’s population died. Today the dome is a United Nations World Heritage Site, and serves as a reminder of the devastation the bomb caused.

The Road Less Travelled

man with a cameraWhile not as popular as Oak Ridge, the Hanford nuclear reservation (created in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project) allows visitors to tour the B Reactor, which features superb exhibits on the lives of people who helped build the bomb. It is also the United States’ most contaminated nuclear site. From April through September the Department of Energy offers free tours, but you need to make a reservation. The Trinity Site in New Mexico is another unique location, as it is where the first atomic bomb was tested. Tours include the McDonald house, where the world’s first plutonium bomb was created, and a replica of the casing used on the bomb that destroyed Nagasaki in Japan during World War II.

Costs and Savings

Touring nuclear facilities and atomic sites is one of the cheaper forms of tourism, mainly because there are so many destinations in the United States. For those who wish to travel to Japan or Chernobyl, however, travel costs can quickly add up. There are many tours available, and it is possible to find discounts on various websites. For many U.S. locations, however, the tours only operate one day a year, and reservations are typically required.

Literary Tourism

Literary Tourism

Literary tourism consists of people travelling to places that are associated with fictional texts and characters or authors. This sometimes includes visiting an author’s grave, visiting a place where an author lives or did live, the location where a novel was set, or the route taken by a fictional character. Literary tourists tend to be extremely interested in how certain places or destinations influenced an author, and how an author made a world out of a particular place. There are many museums associated with certain authors which are also popular destinations.

Pros and Cons

Like all forms of tourism, literary tourism comes with positives and negatives.

For book lovers and literary fanatics, there is nothing better than literary tourism. Witnessing the places that inspired an author, or where certain fictional characters lived, is truly a great experience. It allows travellers to understand the author and the motives of the characters in much greater detail. Literary tourism tends to involve significant travel, however. For example, fans of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen would have to journey all the way to London, while Lord of the Rings fans may have to go all the way to New Zealand. This can become expensive very quick. Still, there are numerous places that inspired authors that not only do not cost a lot to visit, they may have no entrance fee whatsoever.

Popular Destinations

literary3 One of the most popular sites in the world for literary tourism is New Zealand. Although J.R.R. Tolkien wasn’t from New Zealand, and Middle-Earth is not based on New Zealand, the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films have made it famous. You can find locations used in the film all over New Zealand, or visit Wellington, the home of Peter Jackson, the film’s director. One tour in particular allows tourists to stay in hobbit like homes while they tour the set, and even offers a “hobbit menu” which is supposed to provide the full hobbit experience. Dickens World, in Kent, England, is another popular destination. Inside Dickens World, tourists get to see a recreation of 19th century London, as well as famous characters from the numerous novels by Charles Dickens.

The Road Less Travelled

One of the most popular destinations for literary tourism in Canada, but perhaps little known to the rest of the world, is Prince Edward Island, because it is where the novel Anne of Green Gables takes place. literary2 In recent years, the place has been popular for Japanese tourists. The popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey has also inspired tourism, in particular various hotel packages across America which provide travellers with various risqué items from the novels.

Costs and Savings

The cost of going on a literary adventure varies greatly depending on where you wish to go. There are numerous sites that do not charge any admission, and you are able to see an author’s grave or where a fictional character lived. There are also tours and packages, however, like the Fifty Shades of Grey hotel package and the Lord of the Rings New Zealand tour, which can cost as much as $5000.

Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism

Health tourism, also called medical tourism, is when people travel to a different country in order to obtain medical treatment. Originally, people from third world countries (or less developed countries) would travel to highly developed countries in order to receive better medial treatment. Lately, however, people are travelling from developed countries to less developed countries to save on the cost of medical care, or to receive procedures which may not be legal in their home country. Factors such as the improvement of medical technology in many countries, long wait time for procedures, and the high cost of health care have all contributed to this recent trend.

Pros and Cons

The biggest benefit of seeking medical treatment in a foreign and less developed country is because of the lower price. Even when factoring in accommodation and travel costs, it can still be significantly cheaper to receive a medical procedure in a country like Thailand than it is in the United States. You also tend to get immediate access to treatment, unlike the United States or other European countries where you likely have to join a waiting list. Medical tourism also provides a chance to go on vacation, and many medical centers in places like Singapore and India offer patients world-class recreational facilities to help aid in the recovery process. There are downsides, however, and risk factors. The standards may be lower in a different country which could cause issues like infection, and most medical facilities that provide treatment to tourists do so without liability.

Popular Destinations

In 2013 alone, almost 1 million patients headed to Mexico for medical treatment, medical3 (2) making it one of the most popular destinations for medical tourism. Many of these tourists come from Texas, Arizona, and California. Mexico specializes in dental work, surgery, and weight loss treatment. India is another popular destination. According to experts, India’s medical tourism market may reach as high as $4 billion in 2014. While India receives numerous patients from developed countries, it has experienced an influx of patients from surrounding countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, which have less developed health care systems. Some even come from as far as Africa. Popular treatments in India include organ transplants, orthopaedic, and fertility.

The Road Less Travelled

Perhaps surprisingly, the United States is one of the more popular destinations in the world for medical tourism, despite the high price of treatment and often lengthy waiting list times. In 2013, however, almost 1 million foreign patients opted for treatment in the United States. nurse checking patient This is largely because the US is home to renowned clinics like Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Hungary is another popular destination, mainly for Swiss, Austrian, and German citizens seeking well-equipped medical facilities and cheaper dentistry. Dental procedures cost almost 75% less than what they would in the United States.

Costs and Savings

The biggest reason people leave developed countries to receive medial treatment in less developed countries is because of the savings. Compared to the United States, receiving treatment in countries like India, Mexico, or Thailand can be up to 90% cheaper than it would be back home. Even when factoring in travel and accommodation costs, it is still a significantly cheaper alternative. While open heart surgery may cost $300,000 in the United States, it can cost as little as $8,000 in India, explaining why many people chose to travel for medical care.

Sports Tourism

Sports Tourism

For sports fans, sport tourism is an extremely popular travel trend. Sport tourism is defined as travelling with the sole purpose of watching or participating in a sporting event. It is one of the fastest growing sectors of the global travel industry. The two main types of sport tourism are hard and soft sport tourism. Hard refers to the number of people participating at a competitive sports event, and these events generally attract tourists (such as the Olympics). Soft refers to recreational sporting events, where tourists participate in for leisure purposes, such as skiing. Nostalgia sport tourism is another popular trend, where people travel to visit sports halls of fame or other famous venues.

Pros and Cons

Sport tourism is truly a great bonding experience, for both friends and families. Many people take a road trip to get to the venue, which allows them to spend quality time together while also viewing various parts of the country along the way. For some people, who may be fans of teams that don’t play in their home area, sport tourism is a great way to be able to see their favorite team in action, particularly in a friendly environment (a home game). Going to events such as the Olympics can also be a great experience. People are often given park passes, allowing them to see any event they want on that particular day. It also allows you to show national pride and support your country. Sport tourism can be expensive, however. Purchasing tickets for games isn’t cheap, and that doesn’t take into account travel and accommodation costs. It can also be discouraging to travel a great distance to watch your favorite team lose.

Popular Destinations

sports image 3 Sport tourism is incredibly popular in North America. Thanks to the internet and cable television, people can be fans of any team and still watch all of their games and read about them. It makes it difficult to see a game, however, so road trips across America to watch games are very common. Some popular destinations include New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, because they have a strong sports base but also offer numerous other things to do when the games are not on. The Olympics are another popular destination, as people travel from all over the world to support their country.

The Road Less Travelled

There are so many sporting events in the world that there are many that sometimes fly under the radar. The Kentucky Derby, a horse race held every May, is a very popular event. The attendance at the Derby surpasses all other stakes races, and tourists love to become part of the number of traditions that play a large role in the Derby atmosphere, such as wearing one of the large hats or drinking a mint julep. sports image 4 While not as popular as the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games are another great event where tourists from all over the world can go and support their country.

Costs and Savings

Sport tourism is by no means cheap. Tickets to sporting events can run anywhere from $50 to $500, depending on the event, the type of game, the teams playing, etc. Factor in travel and accommodation costs, and the price of sport tourism can quickly add up. Luckily many travel firms advertise all inclusive travel deals which include meals, accommodation, and tickets to sporting events. There are also travel packages available for events like the FIFA World Cup or Olympics, which typically last for weeks or months and allow travellers to witness multiple events.