Tourists, right through their course of travels and stay en route and while at the destination devour a range of elements of a tourism product i.e., goods, facilities/amenities and services, which are put away in different ways.
Jafari in his most informative work Tourism Market Basket of Goods and Services carefully well summarizes that “what a tourist at the destination purchases is actually the ‘experience’ which he derives from the accommodation, transport, food, information and other services availed and the tourist attractions enjoyed at the destination”. From the viewpoint of simplicity of discernment, the tourism products can be broadly categorized into the following types:
1. Tourist Oriented Products (TOPs):
These are the goods and services such as transport, accommodation, food, entertainment and recreation facilities and numerous travel trade services brought about mainly for the consumption of tourists with the perspective of direct economic return, envisioned in their production.
2. Resident Oriented Products (ROPs):
As the name itself connotes, these are the services/facilities such as means of communication, banking services, health services, safety and security services (police) and so forth which are not only crucial and fundamental for the residents of the destination area but equally of substance for the tourists.
3. Basic Tourism Products or Background Tourist Elements (BTOs or BTLs):
The natural and man made tourist attractions are known as BTOs. As the success of a destination primarily depends on the variety and uniqueness of its BTOs and, therefore, these are termed as Basic Tourism products.
Such a type of products are also typified by the term Background Tourist Elements (BTLs) as these don’t enter into a direct sale/ purchase transaction while whatever is transacted at the tourist place can be wholly put down to the existence of the BTLs. In fact, BTLs can also be considered as ‘tourist resources’ or the input – the raw material of the tourism industry which with the help of human efforts is transformed into products on offeror ‘the destination’.
For the reason that the human resources have the principal role in tourism from the potential resources identification stage to tourism product (destination) planning, plan execution and finally quality services delivery stage, tourism industry is generally termed as ‘people’s industry’.