Cohen’s Model of Typologies of Tourists

Cohen’s model of typologies of tourists is an early conceptual framework aimed at the sociological analysis of the phenomenon of modern tourism. In his 1972 journal article “Towards a Sociology of International Tourism,” the sociologist Erik Cohen was the first to suggest that there are different types of tourists. Cohen identifies four different categories of tourists within a spectrum of institutionalized or noninstitutionalized characteristics. The conceptualization of tourist motivations has been a major research theme attracting attention from as early as the sixties. Particularly, Cohen’s model was a reaction to earlier attempts, most particularly by the historian Daniel Boorstin, at defining tourists. Specifically, Boorstin placed the latter under the unilateral unflattering category of cultural dope and passive sight-seer. By contrast, there was the traveler who ...

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