At first blush, there does not seem to be much of a difference except the tourist is associated more with sightseeing (seeing places and/or objects of interest) – and the traveler seems to travel to foreign lands on a more frequent basis.
USA Today reported that tourists tend to “look the part” as they are loaded with maps, travel guides and camera gear. They rarely venture off the beaten path and try to maintain an American comfort zone no matter what country they visit.
Travelers are more open-minded to accept the culture and traditions of whatever country they are visiting, whereas tourists are reticent to accept anything outside their own cultural norm.
I do find great delight in taking a long journey and visiting several different places for a prolonged period of time – whether it be international or domestic. And when I am not traveling, I am planning my next adventure, creating the itinerary of a tourist but leaving plenty of free time for serendipitous exploration.