Active engagement with nature: outdoor adventure tourism, sustainability and wellbeing

Paul Hanna, Sarah Wijesinghe, Ilias Paliatsos, Carl Walker, Matthew Adams, Albert Kimbu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article draws on the conflicting arguments surrounding outdoor adventure tourism activities to determine if such activities might usefully be considered beneficial for humans and nature, and how they might offer avenues for sustainable tourism practice. Research in the field has often examined outdoor adventure activities through a lens that either highlights their negative environmental impacts or has sought to conceptualise motivations and/or experiences. In this article, we argue that through practices that are often seen as destructive, there is the possibility to think differently about human-nature relationships and pro-environmentalism. To explore these issues, we draw on data collected from a series of semi-structured interviews with outdoor adventure tourists. Our analysis highlights how outdoor adventure tourism facilitates reconnections to nature, offering potential wellbeing impacts and pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours. We conclude that outdoor adventure activities as a form of sustainable tourism have potential implications for our understanding of, and engagement with, sustainability, mental health and wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1355-1373
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Sustainable Tourism on 6/6/2019, available online:


  • Outdoor adventure tourism
  • human-nature relationships
  • wellbeing
  • nature–society relations
  • ecopsychology
  • mental health
  • sustainability


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