Principles of Tourism Chapter 10 (recreation and leisure)
Meaning of Recreational and Leisure
• The dictionary defines recreation as the process
of giving new life to something, of restoring
• Leisure is defined as the productive, creative, or
contemplative use of free time.
• Recreational activities include all kinds of sports,
both team and individual such as baseball,
softball, football, basketball, tennis, badminton,
swimming, and skiing.
• Hiking, jogging, aerobics, and rock climbing are
active forms of recreation.
• Passive recreational activities include reading,
playing, fishing, and listening to music, gardening,
playing computer games, and watching television
Varied Views of Recreation and Leisure
• For some, recreation means the network of public agencies
that provide parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, sports
fields, and community centers in several cities, towns,
countries or park districts.
• For others, recreation may be found in a senior center, a
sheltered workshop for mentally retarded individuals; or a
treatment center for physical rehabilitation.
• Environmentalists may be
principally concerned about the
impact of outdoor forms of
recreation on our natural
surroundings (forests, mountains,
rivers, and lakes which are
the national heritage of a nation).
• Recreation and leisure are all these things. They represent a
rewarding form of human experience and constitute an
important aspect of economic development and government
• At present, the value of recreation and leisure is universally
accepted. As a consequence, the government in both
developed and developing countries has accepted the
responsibility of providing and assisting leisure opportunities
through extensive recreation and park systems.
• The most common notion of recreation is that it is
primarily a participation in sports and games.
• Recreation actually includes an extremely broad range of
(travel and tourism, cultural entertainment, participation
in the arts, hobbies, membership in social clubs, or
interests groups, nature related activities such as hunting
and fishing, and attendance at parties, special events, and
• Recreation may be enjoyed with thousands of participants
or spectators or may be a solitary experience. It may be
very strenuous or may be primarily a mental activity. It
may act as a lifetime of interest and involvement or may
consists of a single, isolated experience.
Motivation for Recreational Participation
• Many participants take part in recreation as a form of
relaxation and release from the pressures of work and other
• Another recreational motivation is the need to express
creativity, expose hidden talents, or pursue excellent in
various forms of personal expression.
• For some participants, active recreation offers a channel for
releasing hostility and aggression.
• Many individuals take part in recreational activities which
involve community service, provide leaders in fraternal or
religious organizations and promote health and physical
• Deeply involve in various forms of elite culture such as music,
drama, dance, literature, and the fine arts.
Factors Promoting the Growth of Recreation
The following are the factors that help bring about the
growth of recreation:
1. Increase in discretionary time.
2. Influences of technology.
3. Public interest in health and fitness.
4. Co modification of leisure.
5. Therapeutic recreation service.
6. New leisure roles for women.
1. Increase in discretionary time
A key factor underlying the growth of recreation has been
the growth of free or discretionary time in 20th century.
Due to advanced mechanical equipment and automated
processes in factories, agriculture and the service fields,
productive capacity increased remarkably during the
second half of the 19th century and the first half of the
In addition, more holidays and longer vacations are now
enjoyed by more employees, because of improved Social
Security benefits and pension plan as well as medical
advances which lead to a longer life, many employees can
now avail of fifteen or more years of full time leisure
Another reason is that labor saving devices such as
automatic washing machines, lawnmowers, microwave oven,
and vacuum cleaners have greatly simplified the demands
2. Influences of Technology
Sophisticated technology has provided new forms of
recreation for the people. Outdoor recreation uses
complex and expensive devices in activities such as
skydiving, hang gliding, scuba diving, boating, roller blading,
skiing, and now boarding.
Computer dating provides a new form of social contacts
for single adults. Video games offer interactive
competition or exposure to new varieties of play settings
and “virtual realities”.
The internet has become an important part of travel and
tourism by providing information and facilitates
reservations and vacations choices. Home-based recreation
has become dependent on varied forms of electronic
3. Public interest in health and fitness
A key trend in the 20th century is the growth of public
interest in exercise and physical fitness programs.
Many people are now concerned about improving their
health, vitality, and appearance through diet and exercise.
Those who exercise regularly look and feel better.
Research showed that the most successful fitness
programs were those that provided recreational interest
4. Commodification of leisure
Various forms of recreation are being developed by profit-
seeking businesses. Giant corporations have taken control
of music, television, movie businesses, sports stadiums,
cruise ships, theme parks and other leisure operations.
Many elaborate new facilities which offer varied forms of
recreation are being developed as part of the trend
toward commodification. In big cities, huge public fitness
centers which includes pools, aerobics, dance rooms, and
facilities for family play are being built and often charge
membership fees that cost several hundred dollars a year.
5. Therapeutic recreation service
An important aspect of the growth of recreation has been
the increased awareness of the recreation needs of
persons with physical, mental or social disabilities. In
recent years there has been an increased recognition of
the need to provide recreational programs for special
populations such as the mentally retarded, mentally ill, and
physically challenged. Theses programs use therapeutic
recreation as a form of treatment.
One of the sports programs for people with disabilities
that has received much attention in recent years is the
Special Olympics, an international program of physical
fitness, sports training, and athletic competition for
children, and adults with mental retarded.
6. New leisure roles for women
At present, there is a strong drive for women to play a
more equal role in recreational opportunities.
In the past, women were barred from a variety of athletic,
outdoor recreation, cultural, and social involvements.
Women were treated as second-class citizens in leisure
opportunities with the emergence of a strong feminist
movement, this inequality was corrected.
There is now growing interest in women’s tennis, gold,
gymnastic, track and field, and similar events in every level
of competition. Outstanding women athletes have helped
create a new image of feminine strength, determination,
1. Government recreation agencies
These are the federal, state, provincial agencies, and
local departments that provide recreation and leisure as
services as a primary function.
Also include are other agencies that offer recreation
programs as a secondary responsibility such as those
concerned with social service, education, special
populations and the armed forces.
2. Voluntary non-profit organization
These are the governmental, non-profit agencies,
both sectarian and non-sectarian which serve the
public at large with multiservice programs that
often include a substantial element of
The most popular voluntary organizations include
the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, YWCA, and
3. Private membership organizations
They provide recreational and social activities
for their own members and in some cases assist
community recreation needs.
(golf, tennis, yacht, athletic, and country clubs.)
Also included under this category are the
recreation sponsors connected to residence such
as swimming pools, sports or fitness complexes
or clubs attached to leisure villages, and
apartments or condominium retirements or
4. Commercial recreation enterprises
These are privately owned businesses which
operate to make a profit such as ski centers,
bowling alleys, night clubs, movie houses,
theaters, health spas or fitness centers, dancing
schools and theme parks.
5. Employee recreation programs
They serve those who work for companies or
employees by providing recreation as a part of a
total personnel benefits package linked to other
services concerned with employee health and
6. Armed forces recreation
Although it is obviously a form of government-
sponsored activity, it is unique in its setting and
purpose. Each of the major branches of the
armed forces operates an extensive network of
recreation facilities and programs.
7. Campus recreation
It includes intramural athletics or sports clubs,
social activities, travel programs, performing
arts groups, entertainment, lounges, film series
and other forms of recreation on college, and
8. Therapeutic recreation services
Theses include any other program designed to
meet the needs of persons with physical or
mental disabilities, individuals with poor health,
dependent aging persons, social deviant persons
in correctional facilities, and similar special
Two Major Recreation Service Components
• In addition to the eight types of organized
recreation, sports, and tourism represent major
areas of recreational programming and
constitute powerful economic forces through
their attraction for people every age and
• Uniquely, they have strong links to each to the
growing field of sports tourism and also overlap
heavily with outdoor recreation attractions.
Sports as Popular Recreation
• Sports are major areas of recreational
involvement. Of all the types of recreational
involvement, sports command the highest degree
of personal interest and emotional involvement.
• Sports are generally defined as physical
activities demanding exertion and skill, involving
competition, carried on with both formal rules
and general standards of etiquette and fair play.
A Major Recreation Service Component
Tourism is a second major area of diversified
recreational involvement. Several major elements
in the tourism enterprise which are closely linked
to the growth of tourism as a form of recreation
are the theme parks, water parks, fun centers,
and sports tourism.
• Theme parks usually concentrate on one dominant theme
which may be historical, cultural or geographical. Like:
Marine Zoological Park Disneyland
• A specialized type of theme park are the water parks,
they feature wave pools, slides, chutes, shows and other
forms of water based play and entertainment.
Universal’s Islands Jurassic Park River
• The purpose of sports tourism is to
participate directly in a form of sport or attend
sports evens as a spectator. In the past, only the
team traveled the spectators remained behind to
read about their favorite game or to experience
the game through radio and television.
• The World Olympics is the biggest sports
event. It attracts millions of spectators and
generate millions of dollars in revenue.
The Need for Professional Leaderships
• At present, there is a growing need for qualified
professional leadership in the recreation field.
• Very often, people assume that the task of organizing and
conducting recreation programs is relatively simple and
that anyone can do it without specialized training.
• However, the professional’s assignment in the organized
recreation field tends to be more complex and difficult
than that of the volunteer leader or coach.
• It must involve carefully studied goals and objectives and
sophisticated planning techniques.
• Recreation Professionals should possess the skills
needed for direct leadership and supervision, group
dynamics and client assessment. They must have the
ability to carry out basic research and write meaningful
Emerging Professional Identity
• As employment in recreation agencies grew over the
past several decades, recreation gained public as a
flourishing career field.
• Millions of men and women became employed in
various specialized sectors of recreation and leisure
• Many hold professional-level jobs as recreation
leaders, supervisors, planners, managers and resource
specialist. Through the efforts of national, state and
provincial societies, higher standards for practice were
developed and the first steps of certification and
accreditation were undertaken.
Challenges Facing the Recreation and Leisure
Service Field in the Twenty-First Century
Recreational professional must be able to deal creatively
with the following challenges.
1. Serve diverse society (race, age, gender);
2. Emphasize key social purposes of recreation in working
with at-risk youth, serving persons with disabilities, and
promoting community development;
3. Achieve fuller public understanding of the value of
recreation and parks, and of the leisure-service profession
4. Upgrade recreation and park programs and facilities
particularly in inner cities and for minority populations;
5. Adopt a benefits-based management approach,
researching, proving and publicizing positive outcomes of
6. Promote recreation’s identity as health-related field;
7. Develop partnerships with environmental organizations to
protect and restore wildlands, waterways;
8. Employ marketing approach to achieve fiscal sufficiency
and gain public respect and support;
9. Expand and improve family-centered programs and
10. Promote higher values and ethical practices in youth
11. Strive for fuller mainstreaming of persons with
disabilities in community recreation programs;