Leisure has been defined as as free time. Leisure is as well an experience.
Free time is time spent away from business, work, job hunting, domestic chores and education. It also excludes time spent on necessary activities such as eating and sleeping. From a research perspective, this approach has the advantages of being quantifiable and comparable over time and place. Leisure as experience usually emphasizes dimensions of perceived freedom and choice. It is done for “its own sake”, for the quality of experience and involvement.
In dictionaries it is a noun and bears following meanings
1.freedom from the demands of work or duty:
She looked forward to retirement and a life of leisure.
2.time free from the demands of work or duty, when one can rest, enjoy hobbies or sports, etc.:
Most evenings he had the leisure in which to follow his interests.
3.unhurried ease: a work written with leisure and grace.
Recreation is an activity of leisure, leisure being discretionary time.The “need to do something for recreation” is an essential element of human biology and psychology.Recreational activities are often done for enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure and are considered to be “fun”.
Recreation covers broadly any pursuit taken up during leisure time other than those to which people have a high commitment (overtime, second job, home study and various maintenance jobs around the house). Tribe (2005) adds that recreational pursuits include home-based activities such as reading and watching television, and those outside the home including sports.
The term recreation appears to have been used in English first in the late 14th century, first in the sense of “refreshment or curing of a sick person”, and derived turn from Latin (re: “again”, creare: “to create, bring forth, beget.)
In dictionaries it is categorized as noun and have these meanings
1.refreshment by means of some pastime, agreeable exercise, or the like.
2.a pastime, diversion, exercise, or other resource affording relaxation and enjoyment.
Both Leisure and Recreation are often prerequisites for tourism.
Boundaries between recreation and tourism are blur, as both activities often share
the same environments and facilities and compete for space and finance :
• Steps taken to improve the environment and to conserve and restore the national
heritage benefit both recreation and tourism;
• High quality provision for local recreation (ice rinks, yacht moorings, golf
courses) will often enhance tourism interest in the area and generate demands for
accommodation and other services. Tourism products may also be created by
improvements in cultural resources (museums, concerts halls, theatres);
• Exotic leisure developments such as theme parks or ski resorts invariably need
to attract tourists as well as day users. Hotels and resort facilities may partly rely
on revenues generated by local users (functions, club membership, restaurant
It is really hard to draw a line where recreation ends and tourism starts. When not talking about statistics then it is also not so important. It is important to understand that both try to save environment and use it as sustainable as possible. Also both have to main target groups – locals and tourists. Both groups can use and benefit from facilities developed in the area.
Tourism, recreation and leisure are overlapping concepts and there are difficulties defining the terms. But there are certain criteria for all of them. Leisure includes discretionary time, recreation is an activity on leisure time and tourism is temporary visiting.
Relationship between Leisure,Recreation and Tourism(Hall and Page 2007)