Conceptualising family adventure tourist motives, experiences and benefits

POMFRET, Gillian (2018). Conceptualising family adventure tourist motives, experiences and benefits. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.

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Families are becoming increasingly important to the adventure tourism industry, yet previous research neglects to investigate these tourists, instead focusing on family participation in non-adventure holidays and recreational activities. This conceptual paper develops a theoretically grounded perspective of family adventure tourists and considers the following research questions: Which key motives encourage families to participate in adventure activities while on holiday? What are the experiences of families during adventure activity participation on holiday? What benefits do families gain from these experiences? The paper addresses a research gap through synthesising previous research findings pertaining to family tourists and recreationists, adventure tourists and recreational adventurers. It makes connections between these studies to develop fruitful insights into family adventure tourists. It adopts a whole family approach as the perspectives of children and their parents are equally important in progressing understanding of these tourists. Many older family tourism studies only investigate parental viewpoints, yet children are integral to shaping the family holiday experience and understanding them is essential for organisations striving to deliver fun, enjoyable and challenging family holidays which satisfy parents as well as children. The paper presents a conceptual model of family adventure tourists, which illustrates the multidimensional journey families take before, during and after their adventure holiday. The paper highlights the complexities of understanding families who partake in adventure holidays and the key considerations that adventure organisations need to take into account in designing such holidays. It also makes suggestions for further research on family adventure tourists. Management implications: The key findings from this paper have several management implications for the adventure tourism industry: • There is strong and continued growth in the demand for family adventure holidays, and participation is associated with numerous benefits which can lead to improved family functioning.• Understanding the family adventure tourism market can assist organisations to design suitable holidays which take into account the complexities of families and the multifaceted needs of parents and their children.• In developing these holidays, organisations need to consider that: families enjoy packaged as well as independently organised adventure holidays; they participate in a range of hard and soft adventure activities; there are motivational differences between parents and children; holidays need to combine activity experiences with opportunities for downtime and relaxation to ensure all family members are happy; activity participation may trigger family conflict at times due to the challenging nature of adventure; and, holidays should facilitate opportunities for family togetherness, bonding, communication, relationship-building, consolidation of family values and traditions, and other benefits.

Item Type: Article
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2018 14:28
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 20:45

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