The article presents the definition of key terms distinguished and used in the field of vacation, leisure, and recreation, and explains differences between them. The terms of "tourism" and "recreation" are similar in their meaning as many sources treat them as synonyms. However, the concept of "recreation" is much broader because it includes all types of individual’s activities in their free time from work spent outside their homes. The concept of "tourism" is more narrow because it is the process of consuming certain services by an individual, such as buying certain products, goods, and also using the resource capacity of the area. There are three forms of recreation: rest, tourism, treatment (wellness).
The classification has been developed for holiday centres according to their intended use, forms of activity and types of services, as well as presents key criteria for their classification. Recreation facilities are classified according to the following criteria: orographic (lowland, highland, hilly, mountainous), sectoral geographic (seaside, continental, subcontinental, oceanic), zonal recreation climatic (highland climate, moderate climate with seasonal effect, Mediterranean climate, tropical), landscape formative (seaside, continental, sandy, shingle, rocky block, lakeside, forested, alpine meadow), specific natural (drinking medicinal, thermal, subequatorial saline, muddy, naphthalene, phytoncide, aromatherapy), social and economic (local significance, domestic, international class, low-cost, respectable, upmarket, narrow profile, wide profile).
The essay analyzes the design experience of contemporary recreation centres in Ukraine and all over the world, and identifies key trends in the development of their architecture and infrastructure in general: taking into account their intended use and financial relevance, identifying the needs of potential users and the respective expansion of services on offer, full use of natural resources of their locations, and the improvement of an architectural-spatial and functional-planning component of the holiday centres.
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