Who walks, where and why? Practitioners’ observations and perspectives on recreational walkers at UK tourist destinations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Walking is fundamental and prevalent in all tourist settings. As the most popular activity in natural spaces and managed outdoor recreation areas, it receives less attention in academic literature than it should. This paper conceptualizes recreational walking, using the findings of a UK-based exploratory study. Twenty-three in-depth interviews were undertaken with expert practitioners involved in managing the walking world. The discourse revealed insights into a diverse range of individuals. They demonstrate differing levels of commitment to walking, from short walks for sightseeing purposes to more challenging physical experiences on a more frequent and committed basis. Individual confidence is particularly important in determining how people undertake walks, their level of involvement in the activity, and how they navigate themselves. The findings suggest that walkers can be casual or serious in their interest in walking. These distinctions are useful in separating walking in terms of adventure tourism and other forms of tourism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-574
Number of pages22
JournalAnnals of Leisure Research
Volume21
Issue number5
Early online date14 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Walking
  • Confidence
  • Recreation
  • Walking tourism
  • Visitor management
  • Outdoor adventure tourism

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