Special interest tourism (SIT) is the provision of customised tourism activities that caters to the specific interests of groups and individuals. In this case, tourism is undertaken to satisfy a particular interest or need. It has been proposed that SIT consists of four main experiences:
Clients engaged with SIT are seeking to learn more, enrich their awareness, and express themselves. They expect high standards of service and individualized focus. Many wish to travel in an environmentally sound manner and to have authentic experiences be they: cultural, social or environmental, in which they have a positive engagement with the host community.
The range of special interest tours is enormous. It may range from a women’s only trek down the Larapinta Track in outback Australia to a bike tour of one of France's wine growing regions where it is possible to meet those responsible for the production of the wine being sampled, or from gay-only resorts to whale watching in Antarctica.
One way of classifying different types of tourism is according to the dominant interest or reason that causes people to travel. If a tourism manager understands why a person or group of people travelling to a particular destination, they can then design a package of services tailored to support that reason for travelling. Some travel aims or categories of tourists occur often enough that tourism providers have found it profitable to establish packages specifically tailored to cater to them. Others may require special packages or arrangements that will meet their distinctive, particular needs.