In search of parkrun tourism: destabilising contradictions or progressive conceptual tensions?

John H. McKendrick*, James Bowness, Emmanuelle Tulle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
197 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This paper aims to reflect on the nature of “parkrun tourism” and the challenges this presents to the understanding of sports tourism. Design/methodology/approach: The contradictions and contested terrain of sports tourism is discussed with the reference to three of the most widely used definitions for the field. Findings: Parkrun tourism is introduced comprising four formats: spanning the domestic and global; the informal and formal; the organic and institutional; and the experience and commercial product. Research limitations/implications: The particular challenges that parkrun tourism presents to existing understandings of sports tourism is considered. The conclusion discusses the prospect of future research, both empirical and theoretical, on parkrun tourism. Practical implications: The authors outline a range of ways in which parkrun tourism affords opportunity for further inquiry for parkrun scholarship and sports tourism. Originality/value: A new specification for sports tourism is proposed that accommodates parkrun tourism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-347
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Culture, Tourism, and Hospitality Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2020


  • parkrun
  • recreational running
  • sport
  • sports tourism
  • tourism


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