The influence of the environment on adventure tourism: from motivations to experiences

Julia Kathryn Giddy, Nigel Leigh Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Inherent in most definitions of adventure tourism is the fact that it takes place in natural outdoor settings. Yet, the influence of this setting on the behaviour of adventure tourism consumers has yet to be adequately addressed. This study, therefore, investigates the relative strength and nature of environmental influences on adventure tourists in both motivations for participation and in the context of the experience. The results are based on questionnaires collected from 459 participants in adventure tourism activities along the southern coast of South Africa. They show that, although the majority of research on adventure tourism focuses on the ‘thrill’ involved, the environment is increasingly recognized as influential. The assessment of motivations, using a push and pull factor approach, demonstrates that the environment not only plays an important role in attracting adventure tourists towards specific destinations, but that they also seek out interactions with nature. In addition, participants suggested that the environment is an especially significant component of their experiences. The fact that the findings demonstrate the importance of the environment in both the motivations and experiences of adventure tourism participants, means that such an approach would make a definite contribution to discussions, planning, and policy linked to the adventure tourism industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2132-2146
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2018


  • adventure tourism
  • human–environment interaction
  • nature-based tourism
  • tourism experiences
  • tourism motivations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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