While the terminologies tourists and travelers can be used interchangeably, obvious differences exist when assigning the respective notion with an individual.
Firstly, tourists are those people who usually travel to another country for a recreational trip. This might not hold true in some cases, as tourists can seek to explore other landscape within the same boundary. As for travelers, they go somewhere for an act of travel, which could be business related or for a permanent stay.
Tourists will have a vague picture of the surrounding but most travelers are sure about their destination. They may also be prone to cultural shock but tend to know where they will seek residence for the duration of their stay. Tourists, on the other hand, will treat their destination as an adventure journey where they will be looking to explore new places, meet new people and enjoy the time of their life as if they have been presented with an one-off opportunity.
For both types of individuals, trips could be short but tourists tend to be more prepared. They will have maps of the country, some basic language codes, and will shop quite a lot. As for travelers, they tend to usually carry a single bag and will return with that same bag.
Travelers may only buy one-way ticket as they will not know the exact duration of their trip, even if it is business related. Tourists are usually sure about their return and will most likely buy a round trip ticket. Moreover, they are likely to take more safety measures, such as carrying cell-phones, as compared to travelers. Travelers are likely to stay put at a single place during their visit whereas tourists will visit all attractions and landmarks.