The first single from the album, "Wires", became the biggest hit so far for the band when it entered the UK Singles Chart at #4. The album also fared well in the charts, reaching the top of the UK Albums Chart the week it was released, selling 89,000 copies. Despite this success, Tourist had a mixed critical reception, with some suggesting that Athlete had failed to sustain the unique style of their previous album, while others saw the new album as a logical progression from their old sound. Despite the mainstream breakthrough the band achieved with this album, their fanbase was reduced to a mere cult when follow-up Beyond the Neighbourhood became their smallest-seller.
At the end of 2005, Tourist became the 32nd best-selling album of the year in the UK, and "Wires" was the 89th best-selling single.
This album has been released with the Copy Control protection system in some regions.