|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
Garden tourism is a type of niche tourism involving visits or travel to botanical gardens and places which are significant in the history of gardening. Garden tourists often travel individually in countries with which they are familiar but often prefer to join organized garden tours in countries where they might experience difficulties with language, travel or finding accommodation in the vicinity of the garden. In the year 2000 the Alhambra and the Taj Mahal both received over 2 million visitors. This poses problems for the landscape manager.
The list of famous gardens which attract garden tourists from afar includes:
- Sissinghurst Castle Garden and Stourhead in England,
- Versailles and Giverny in France,
- Keukenhof in the Netherlands,
- Villa d'Este and Villa Lante in Italy,
- Alhambra in Spain,
- Longwood Gardens and Filoli in the USA,
- Taj Mahal in India,
- Ryōan-ji in Japan.
Michel de Montaigne was one of the earliest garden tourists to record his impressions of gardens (c1580). John Evelyn also recorded his visits to gardens in France and Italy, as did Fynes Moryson. At the start of the 21st century Britain had the largest number of gardens open to the public for tourist visits: over 3,500 gardens are listed in Gardens of England and Wales Open for Charity (the 'Yellow Book').