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ESL forum > Ask for help > touristic/ touristy    

touristic/ touristy


touristic/ touristy
hello everybody.
can you tell me please what the diefference between "touristy" and "touristic" is? 
thanks in advance 

9 Feb 2017      

United States

It is touristy means it is an attraction or activity that will appeal mainly to tourists. It can have a slightly negative connotation.
  1. relating to, appealing to, or visited by tourists (often used to suggest tawdriness or lack of authenticity).
    "a touristy shopping street"
of or relating to a tour, tourism, or tourists <the touristic tradition of visiting Roman ruins by night
Touristic is a more elevated (more proper, formal) form of the adjective. 

9 Feb 2017     

United Kingdom

Touristic relates to tourists as people or the activities but not the places.
 We shouldn ´t say something like: "The Mosque of Cordoba is a wonderful touristic sight." That ´s wrong.
We can say, "The Mosque in Cordoba is a unique touristic experience." That ´s correct but it is rather prissy and formal.
I always tell my students to avoid the word. 

10 Feb 2017     


´Touristy ´ is quite often used with a negative connotation, if you describe something as ´touristy ´ you mean that there are a lot of tourists who spoil the beauty of a site. (That ´s from my observation, anyway...) 

10 Feb 2017     


In my neck of the woods, if you said toruistic then you would get a very strange look.  No-one uses it, not that I know of, or have read. It is way too formal.
I wouldn´t say that touristy has negative connotations; to us it really just means that it is a place/activity that is frequented/undertaken by tourists who think it is the real McCoy (and avoided by the locals unless they have visitors in town), but of course the locals don´t let on because they like to keep the real thing to themselves. I´m sure it´s the same everywhere.

10 Feb 2017     


This is interesting. Just had a look how some popular dictionaries define the word touristy and it appears the word does have negative connotations: (at least to the compilers of the dictionaries).

- According to Cambridge Dictionary A touristy place is not attractive because a lot of tourists visit it and it is full of things for them to buy and do


- The Oxford Dictionary declares the term as being an informal word defines it as follows: Relating to, appealing to, or visited by tourists (often used to suggest tawdriness or lack of authenticity)


- Collins Dictionary goes even further :

If you describe a place as touristy, you do not like it because it is full of tourists or full of things for tourists to buy and do.

[informal , disapproval]

Visit some of the less touristy islands.

and then gives an "American usage"

touristy in American English(ˈtʊrɪsti ; toorˈistē)


of or for tourists

often used with mild contempt to suggest banality or tastelessness


- and the Longman dictionary, to conclude with:

Related topics: Tourism

touristy /ˈtʊərəsti $ ˈtʊr-/ adjective informal

1 a place that is touristy is full of tourists and the things that attract tourists – used to show disapproval

Benidorm is too touristy for me.

2 a touristy activity is typical of the things that tourists do – used to show disapproval

We did all the usual touristy things

It should be noted, however, that other online dictionaries give a much more "neutral" meaning :  
Dictionary.com  -  
pertaining to or characteristic of tourists:
a touristy attitude.
appealing to or frequented by tourists:
a touristy restaurant near the Eiffel Tower.

10 Feb 2017     


The previous post turned out too long - posting this to save the space on the main page 

10 Feb 2017     


Good research Gi2gi
I had a look at the Australian national dictionary by our Macquarie University and not only does touristic not appear in it, but touristy is classed as colloquial and defined as ´abounding in, or attractive to, or designed for tourists´ with no mention of negative connotations like in the other dictionaries.  So it seems that we in the land downunder have a different meaning.

11 Feb 2017     

United Kingdom

Interesting! I agree about ´touristic ´. ´Touristy ´ certainly has negative connotations where I come from. You can say ´a popular tourist attraction ´ which is a positive, but if you use ´touristy ´, you are deprecating it. 

12 Feb 2017     

United Kingdom

As cunliffe said, I would confirm that touristy is used as a negative connotation. Look at these examples, you will see in which contexts is used:

15 Mar 2017