Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

Abstract - Could motor tourism be still perceived as qualified tourism? (Provocative paper)

According to Polish standards (nomenclature of the Polskie Towarzystwo Turystyczno-Krajoznawcze, Polish Tourist Country-Lovers’ Society), car or motor tourism belongs to so called “qualified tourism”, along with mountain hiking, lowland hiking, canoeing, sailing, scuba diving, cycling, horse-riding, ski tourism and speleology. Such kind of tourism should encourage a tourist to develop his (or her) general physical and psychical abilities, knowledge, skills necessary to function efficiently in the natural environment, and also the emotional sphere of personality. Rivalry occurs sometimes in the qualified tourism, but does not play an important role. The main factor of the qualified tourism seems to be close and deep contact with the nature, of which a contemporary man is usually more and more deprived in his daily life. Such contact shall result in better understanding and effective protecting the natural environment. In the paper there is presented a thesis that motor tourism – using warm, dry and comfortable car, which does not need a great physical effort to drive it and prevents driver and passengers from feeling the direct “touch of the nature” on his own skin – does not support the realization of main aims of the “qualified tourism”. As a contrary, such possibilities, despite of all technical facilities, yields e.g. sailing. Man traveling with a yacht has to experience all yacht movements, to overcome symptoms of seasickness, to feel wind and waves on his own face and to obey the primeval rules of the nature in the deepest sense of the word. Moreover, sailing traditions, which developed in close contact with powerful natural elements – wind and water – is much older and more mature than traditions of motor tourism, merely one century old. Also in the sphere of psychology, the motor tourism is not conducive to great human values. In general, contrary to e.g. sailing, the motor tourism does not support naturally such desirable traits as solidarity, courage, reason etc. As a contrary, great power of contemporary vehicles evokes inclination to thoughtless rivalry, not always fair. Desirable traits of character have to be developed not because of, but often against natural trends offered by motor tourism. Motor tourist can find most important values of qualified tourism – cognitive, aesthetic, psychological etc. – not behind the steering wheel, but only after leaving the car. All these supports the thesis that motor tourism, being in fact only the way of transporting, should no longer be addressed as a branch of qualified tourism.