Shaping tourists’ wellbeing through guided slow adventures

Jelena Farkic, Sebastian Filep, Steve Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Against the backdrop of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3, good health and wellbeing, this paper reports on a study that examined how outdoor guides perceive their role in facilitating the psychological wellbeing of tourists who consume slow adventure experiences. These experiences, such as canoeing, stargazing or foraging, are characterised by a slower passage of time, immersion in the natural world and a sense of belonging to small social groups. Grounded in research on wellbeing from a positive psychology perspective, the study utilised semi-structured, in-depth, interviews with ten outdoor adventure guides in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Following a hermeneutic interpretive approach to analyse the interview transcripts, the findings revealed how perceptions of time, meaningful moments and a sense of togetherness are choreographed by slow adventure guides to shape tourists’ psychological wellbeing through immersive guided experiences, ultimately helping tourists to re-establish a much-yearned-for connection with nature. The study adds to tourism, wellbeing and sustainability literature by providing new perspectives on psychological wellbeing through guided slow adventures. In particular the findings contribute to positive tourism, or tourism and positive psychology field of research, by revealing how mindful and eudaimonic visitor experiences are organised by adventure tour guides in natural settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2064-2080
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Volume28
Issue number12
Early online date2 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Tourist experience
  • Tour guiding
  • Slow adventure
  • Positive psychology
  • Wellbeing

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