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Understanding the concept of Industrial Tourism

A systematic review of the literature


  • Zulmira Montenegro Universidade Portucalense
  • Jorge Marques
  • Cristina Sousa



Industrial Tourism can be seen as a type of tourism that includes visits to industrial sites of the present, past or future, therefore including sites that are no longer active in their industrial function, industrial companies currently in operation, sites of future industrial facilities and places whose theme is related to industry (namely industrial technology centers, museums, industrial tourist routes, schools, and industrial laboratories). Thus, Industrial Tourism can include all kinds of tourist activities whose main reason for the visit is related to industrial knowledge, material and/or immaterial heritage. However, there is still a lack of conceptual clariry in the literature that may preclude the affirmation of this research topic that has received a reduced, but increasing, attention from the tourism studies community. The paper aims to contribut to a better understanding of the concept of Industrial Tourism and how it has evolved over time. For that it performs a systematic literature review considering 86 papers published in journals indexed in the two major bibliographic bases - Scopus and Web of Science, between 1996 and 2021. The analysis shows the heterogeneity of definition and approachs to this type of tourism. It also identifies two main approaches to the study of Industrial Tourism. The first sees the tourism phenomenon through the use of elements from the industrial past; The second, adresses it through the visit to active industries, which will allow tourists to experience firsthand the production processes of the products they consume.