In order to begin to know the meaning of the term tourist attraction, it is necessary to discover its etymological origin:
-The word attractive derives from Latin, exactly from “attractivus” and can be translated as “that brings to itself”. It is the result of the sum of three components of this language: the prefix “ad-“, which means “towards”; the verb “trahere”, which is synonymous with “bring”, and the suffix “-tive”. This is used to indicate a passive or active relationship.
-About the noun tourism there are different theories. Some establish that it derives from the Latin “tornus”, which is equivalent to “movement”; and others indicate that in Spanish it has been taken from the English “tourism”, which, in turn, derives from the French word “tour”, which is synonymous with “return”.
The notion of attractiveness is linked to what it attracts (that is, it draws closer to itself). Tourist, for its part, refers to what is related to tourism: the activity that consists of traveling for leisure or rest.
According to DigoPaul, a tourist attraction is a place or event that generates interest among travelers. In this way, it can be a reason for a person to make the decision to visit a city or a country.
The value of tourist attractions can lie in different issues. In some cases, these are spaces of historical importance. In others, the attraction arises from natural beauty. Beyond specific (physical) places, there are tourist attractions that are rather symbolic, such as gastronomy or the offer of events.
The Louvre Museum, for example, is a tourist attraction in the city of Paris. Thousands of people arrive each year in the French capital with the intention of visiting this museum that houses outstanding works of art, such as the Venus de Milo and “La Gioconda” by Leonardo da Vinci.
All over the world there are tourist attractions of various kinds. However, among the most significant are the following:
-Monuments. In this case, we have to establish that the list is very long, almost endless. However, we come across some especially important ones such as the Eiffel Tower, the Mosque of Córdoba, the Alhambra in Granada, the Great Wall of China, the Coliseum in Rome, the Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, the Taj Mahal, the Red Square of Moscow…
-National parks and forests, such as Doñana Park (Huelva-Seville), Yellowstone Park (United States), Garajonay Park (La Gomera), Las Orquídeas National Park (Medellín)…
-In addition to the one already mentioned, other museums that are tourist attractions in their cities and countries are the Prado Museum in Madrid, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the British Museum in London…
Tourist attractions of different kinds can be combined with each other to make an area a popular destination. In regions of Mexico, to cite one case, tourist attractions such as the beach and archaeological ruins are combined.
Due to the economic importance of tourism and the cultural or natural relevance, tourist attractions are usually protected by the authorities, who invest large sums of money in their conservation and promotion.