What is ‘adventure’?• Originally part of everyday pre-modern life – a means of survival• War, crusades, exploration / exploitation / colonialism• Mythology, fairytales, narratives• Training, education, human resource development• Leisure / tourism business
Contemporary society• Industrialisation and capitalism• Separation between urban and rural, urban and ‘wild’• Separation between work and leisure• Separation between production and consumption• The advent of the holiday• Sedentary lifestyles – home as leisure centre, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, mental illness• Cash rich, time poor• ‘Cotton-wool kids’• Hypermodernity – accelerating, technologised lives
Adventure tourism in contemporary society• From grand tours to ‘capsule-adventure’• Convenient• Risk assessed• Repeatable, reliable, rationalised• Quality assured• Time constrained• Grew out of adventure education, outdoor centres, Outward Bound
Commercial Adventure in Scotland• SHALLOW: no skills, short duration, big ‘wow’, no personal commitment – Highland Activities: Vertical Descents http://www.verticaldescents.com/• HARD SKILLS: – Abacus Mountaineering: still little commitment required, but personal effort and learning. Longer duration http://www.abacusmountaineering.com/currentc onditions.html
Commercial Adventure in Scotland• DEEP/ECO: more time and self-sufficiency required, but still supported and marketed, facilitated, risk assured. There is personal physical effort and a focus on the richness of the natural environment • http://www.wildernessscotland.com/adventures_acco mm.php?tripID=151
Skills training, education and expertise in Scotland • Hard skills – a huge range of NGB’s • Marketing / packaging • Social media management and applications • Physiology, philosophy and sociology of adventure tourism • Soft skills training: customer care, negotiation, management • Broad tourism education
What do we lack?• Tourism that is responsible and encourages a deep appreciation of place• Comfort in the outdoors• Deep outdoor skills – the ability to live in the wild as a tourist experience• Time outdoors – just being• Encouraging people to get out there, without needing the ‘fear’ or mega physical element
Slow adventure• The journey, not the destination or the adventure micro-activity• Time, spent in nature• Being comfortable with being outdoors• Not about ‘conquering’, but being• Human-powered travel• Being with others• And/or being alone• Not guided or taught, but enabled
What is the special Scandinavian ingredient?• Friluftsliv: Scandinavian philosophy of connectedness to outdoor living and natural context• Arguably a dying lifestyle (see notes on indutrialisation, convenience, above)• Some commercialised forms exist, which can lose the philosophical dimension (Gelter, 2000)• A good connection to slow adventure• ‘Friluftsliv countries’ struggle with ways of making the most of this rich tradition via tourism• And in keeping the philosophy alive…
Slow adventure/friluftsliv: Can the two concepts be combined?Is it sustainable? – Environmentally, yes – Socially, yes – Economically… ?Is there demand? Indicators? – Prime time TV and magazines: – Slow food – Forest schools – Bushcraft and survival – Increased popularity of the OB 3 week expedition – A cook on the wild side – Forage restaurants at top of world’s best list
Conclusions: the challenge!• How do we build/rebuild and capitalise on the friluftsliv concept?• Inspire young people to participate (in Scandinavia and beyond)? – For health, wealth and wellbeing• Harness this unique worldview as something special about North European tourism?• Meld with the concept of slow adventure?• Avoid it being overly guided (disempowering), or elitist preaching• Share skills – Scottish entrepreneurship in adventure tourism and adventure marketing / Scandinavian expertise and knowledge of friluftsliv• Create it as part of hypermodernity: reflection and respite in nature
Final Conclusion:We must share our skills andcombine our knowledge.
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