Leisure is defined for the purposes of this optional theme as any freely chosen activity or experience that takes place in non-work time.

The leisure industry is a significant and rapidly expanding global economic sector. This option is designed to illustrate the pattern and diversity of leisure activities, their increasing popularity and their impact on environments, culture and economy on a range of scales from global to local. Issues and conflicts arise for planners and managers in meeting leisure demand, conserving natural resources and avoiding social conflict.

The theme focuses specifically on tourism, sport and recreation. Although the three terms are defined separately, they overlap and participation in them may be simultaneous. For example, a sporting activity may occur during a vacation.