Some people seem to think it’s the same thing. For me there’s a difference.

First of all there’s different kind of tourists.
A tourist is someone who go in a five star resort and stay there. He doesn’t go outside the gate unless his in a taxi provided by his hotel.
Those who stick to organized tour are also tourists for me and in some extend some Overlanders (big truck that go all around Africa) can also fit in that category. They have no need to find either food or accommodation as a guide plans everything. The participants (tourists) are taken by the hand to go from point A to point B.

A traveler is someone that goes somewhere on his own (or with friends) and can go to a place that doesn’t figure on a map or guidebook. The traveler will be interested in the local culture and will try to talk to the locals and know some of the local language.

I really hope I’m a traveler.