Learn English for International Tourism with 16 Modern Concepts

Imagine working as a tour guide in a theme park.

Now imagine what language you’re speaking, and you’ll soon discover that English is essential for tourism and hospitality.

Learning some English tourism vocabulary would come in handy when traveling for pleasure, too.

This article contains some modern concepts in international tourism that will be useful whether you are learning tourism English for a professional or leisure purpose.


Why Learn About International Tourism Concepts?

Keep Your Knowledge up to Date

As tourism is a fast-changing industry, new concepts appear frequently. Continuous learning is the only way to keep you up to date with industry knowledge.

In the past, travelers often just showed up at a bed and breakfast when they needed lodging. Now most tourists make a reservation, either through a travel agency or online. Some even use a mobile app to make sure they have a hotel room waiting for them at their destination. That is just one example of how tourism has changed.

Along with these changes, there are new concepts that are useful to know. In the above case, you might want to learn about the terms “online reservation,” “advanced booking” and “mobile app.”

There is much to learn, and the industry is still ever-changing!

Ace Any Interview for a Job in Tourism

You might be learning English for international tourism because you want a job in this exciting industry.

Whether you plan to work in one of the global hotel chains, such as the Marriott International, IHG or Sheraton, or you aspire to join a tour operator, knowing the latest tourism trends will help. Being able to discuss those trends with proper vocabulary is the first step to impress a future employer and succeed in an English interview.

Have Fun

How do you like to travel? Do you like to explore ancient cities or relax on a tropical beach?

There are many ways to travel and experience the world. Maybe there are options to spend your vacation of which you are not even aware. This post will discuss the latest trends and its concepts in today’s international tourism, and we hope to inspire you to learn English for travel so that you can step out of your comfort zone and have a lot of fun experiences.

Of course, it can be intimidating to jump right in and start talking to native English speakers, travel to an English-speaking country or have an important interview in English. To get some practice beforehand, try using an immersion based language learning program—one that teaches you how natives really use their language.

For example, FluentU teaches English with authentic English videos. Each video comes with subtitles that show you definitions without even having to leave the page, as well as customizable quizzes, flashcards, vocabulary lists and more. A program like this can give you exposure to native English with a little extra support, before you find yourself in a professional situation.

Learn English for International Tourism with These 16 Modern Concepts

Responsible Tourism

Responsible tourism is a conscious type of tourism that requires visitors to respect the local environment and culture. This is a trend where tourists and tourism industry workers realize that their actions have consequences, and act in a way that will not harm their surroundings.

This type of tourism is good for protecting nature, keeping locations authentic and for improving the working conditions of those who work in the industry.

Some essential concepts of responsible tourism internationally include:

1. Carbon Footprint

Meaning: Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide created by an activity, person or company, which has a negative effect on the environment.

Since air travel has a high carbon footprint, this concept is really important in responsible tourism. Related words and phrases are “carbon-neutral,”(the release and absorption of carbon dioxide are equal) and “ecological footprint”(extra land needed to replace the resources you use up).

If you need a guide for the pronunciation of “Carbon Footprint,” Forvo is a great resource that you can use.

Sample Sentence: Frequent flyers should contribute to projects that help reduce their carbon footprint.

2. Sustainable

Meaning: Able to continue at the same level for a long time into the future.

In international tourism, using sustainable resources means trying to use only things and modes of transportation that do not harm the environment or use many finite resources (resources that can run out).

One current threat to sustainable tourism is “overtourism,” which is when too many people travel to the same place in a way that becomes difficult to maintain for a long time (in other words, it becomes unsustainable).

Example Sentence: Bhutan limits the number of its annual visitors to ensure sustainable tourism.

3. Ecological

Meaning: Related to the environment or the organisms that live in it.

Since the environment is a big concern for responsible tourists, the protection of local ecology is a major goal.

Example Sentence: An ecological group organizes treks and fundraisers in Mount Kilimanjaro.

Experience Tourism

More and more tourists and tour operators have started to focus on experiences and activities instead of just relaxation. Here are some popular travel experiences in today’s international tourism:

4. Adventure Tourism

Meaning: A type of tourism that involves physically challenging activities.

Some examples of adventure tours could be hiking Mount Everest, trekking through the tropical island of Borneo and skydiving.

Example Sentence: Adventure tourism is becoming prominent with visitors trying things like paragliding, free diving and mountain biking.

5. Off the beaten track

Meaning: Not often visited, out of the way of the usual path people take.

Some people love to go the world’s famous cities like Paris, Rio de Janeiro or Hong Kong. Others, however, prefer to avoid the crowd and explore hidden gems by visiting destinations that not many travelers go to.

For example, France, Italy and Spain are regularly visited in Europe; whereas, Moldova, Poland and Herzegovina are more off the beaten track.

Example Sentence: I like to travel off the beaten track so that I can explore a place in my term and avoid the crowd.

6. Real Food Movement

Meaning: The real food movement is all about eating food as it is found in nature (unprocessed and unrefined whole food with no added chemicals or additives).

When traveling to a foreign country, more and more people are seeking out tours to experience the real food of the destination.

Example Sentence: The real food movement in the city has attracted many food professional chefs as well as foodie travelers.

7. Natural Reserve

Meaning: A protected area reserved for animals and plants.

Because of the danger of climate change, many governments are working hard to protect their natural reserves. Responsible and ecological tours to natural reserves are a way to increase awareness of endangered animals and plants around us.

Example Sentence: Can Gio is a natural reserve with animals like monkeys and crocodiles living in a protected environment.

8. Ecotourism

Meaning: Tourism to specific environments, often for the purpose of helping them.

Instead of relaxing, some people like to travel so they can help local people, animals and environments. Ecotourism brings visitors to exotic places so they can help maintain and conserve them.

Example Sentence: She wants to get a job in ecotourism since she wants to travel and help beautiful places around the world.

Sharing Economy Tourism

Many people are using the idea of a sharing economy, an economic system that revolves around sharing services and resources between people. These transactions typically happen over the internet and can have a price (though usually less than outright buying these resources) or they might even be free.

Here are some essential concepts associated with the sharing economy in tourism:

9. Reviews

Meaning: When people use a travel service like a hotel or a tour, they can leave a review of it. A review is the opinion of a service user which is shared with others and often posted online.

A review can make or break a place since many people check reviews before committing to a place or service. If you work in the tourism industry, give good service to get good reviews. If you’re a traveler, always check the reviews before you go. It’s helpful to see how other people liked a place.

Example Sentence: I picked that hotel because it has many positive reviews.

10. Vacation Home

Meaning: A house where a person only lives during vacations instead of all year long.

More and more people rent out the vacation home during off-peak season for some extra cash.

Example Sentence: We rent out our vacation home all year long since it’s in the perfect place for winter and summer travel.

11. Airbnb

Meaning: Airbnb is an online service that allows people to rent out parts of their own home to travelers.

Since its beginning in 2008, the website has gained popularity and now allows locals to share not only their spare bedroom but also the knowledge of the city they live in.

Example Sentence: We found a great Airbnb room for our trip to Paris and saved a lot of money on accommodation.

12. CouchSurfing

Meaning: CouchSurfing has the same concept of letting travelers spend the night in your own home, but hosts do not take money. Instead, travelers exchange favors like cleaning or teaching their native language.

Example Sentence: CouchSurfing works great for travelers with a limited budget if they can find enough willing hosts.


Bleisure is the blurry line between business and leisure trips. For example, you need to go to a conference in Paris so you take your wife with you. Then, you can stay for one extra day and visit the city’s famous cathedral with your wife.

Some important concepts to know for bleisure travel include:

13. Business traveler

Meaning: Visitors who are traveling for a business purpose.

As we mentioned above, though, many business travelers are starting to take advantage of their travels and explore their destinations.

Example Sentence: This airport hotel caters specifically for business travelers, providing dry-cleaning, free Wi-Fi and a large meeting room.

14. Millennial

Meaning: A person who became an adult around the year 2000. In the context of international tourism and bleisure, millennials are the group of business travelers who tend to combine a business trip with some leisure activities.

Example Sentence: Millennials are causing an increase in bleisure, since they enjoy traveling for fun but often have to take their jobs on the road with them.

Digital Nomads

More young people and even young families are adopting a nomadic lifestyle, which means they travel from place to place instead of living in one fixed place.

This is made possible thanks to working online. Digital nomads work remotely from anywhere in the world using technology. As their number increases, the tourism industry has started to adapt to these travelers, offering services like co-working spaces or opportunities to find work remotely.

15. Co-working space

Meaning: A co-working space, such as an office or a cafe, is a workspace where digital workers or small business owners share. This keeps the costs low and allows people to work from anywhere in the world instead of being tied down to one physical location.

Example Sentence: In 2016, we met in Chiang Mai when we both worked in the city’s most popular co-working space.

16. Remotely

Meaning: In the context of international tourism and digital nomadic lifestyle, remotely means “from a distance.” Digital nomads work remotely from anywhere they want.

Example Sentence: He worked remotely and traveled the world for five years.


Learning English vocabulary can be fun and easy if it is tied to a purpose. Whether you want a job in the international tourism industry or you enjoy traveling, you will find these concepts useful. Use this list to increase not only your English competence but also your knowledge of this exciting industry.

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