Cohen's Classification of Tourists
On the basis of the concept that different motivations differentiate between categories of tourists, a number of profiles of tourist types have been created.
Six Dimensions of tourist roles:
One of the earliest, and still much quoted, was that described by Cohen (1972). Cohen classification of tourists described four types based on the institutionalisation of the tourist and the nature of the impact on the host community. There are four main categories which exist under the Cohen’s Classification of tourists as follows:
The organised mass tourist:
These are the least adventurous tourists, who on buying their package holiday remain encapsulated in an ‘environmental bubble’, divorced from the host community as they remain in the hotel complex. They adhere to an itinerary fixed by the tour operators, and even their trips out of the complex are organised tours. They make few decisions about their holiday.
The individual mass tourist:
They are similar to the organised mass tourist in that they utilise the facilities made available by the tour operator, but they have some control over their own itinerary. They may use the hotel as a base and hire a car for their own trips.
The explorers arrange their own trip alone, and attempt to get off the beaten track. Yet they will still have recourse to comfortable tourist accommodation. However, much of their travel will be prompted by a motivation to associate with the people, and they will often speak the language of the host community. Nonetheless, the explorers retain many of the basic routines of their own life style
The drifters will shun contact with the tourist and tourist establishment, and identify with the host community. Income is generated by working within the community, but often through low-skilled work, which creates a tendency to mix with the lower socio-economic groups. Cohen’s classification of tourists explorers in seeking new destinations and prepared to take risks in searching for new cultures and places.