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.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Sustainable Tourism on 6/6/2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09669582.2019.1621883
- Outdoor adventure tourism
- human-nature relationships
- nature–society relations
- mental health
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- School of Applied Social Science - Principal Lecturer
- Cities, Injustice and Resistance Research and Enterprise Group
- Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics
- Narrative and Biographical Methodologies in Education Research and Enterprise Group