Mieczkowski's work (1981), has been used by scholars and educators in the field of tourism to describe the relationships between recreation, leisure and tourism to provide a theoretical framework for tourism. The aim of this paper is to illustrate that another element needs to be added, namely the tourists' perception of time as 'free' or 'non-free'. It is suggested that tourists' perception of the time-frame in which their experience takes place, whether the time is viewed as 'leisure' and 'free time' or 'non-free time', is of key importance in understanding tourism as a social phenomenon. It is also argued that improved understanding of the tourists' perception of this time-frame provides a new basis for segmenting tourists and identifying tourism subgroups. This, in turn, can contribute to the body of theory related to tourism and to the management of tourist-related organizations.