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This book is intended as a book describing the whole adventure tourism industry, with a special focus on commercial (outdoor) activities. Commercial adventures form the basis for adventure tourism management and are therefore the central focus of this book. Sometimes there will be examples of individual adventures, but these do not have a central place in this volume, because companies cannot offer individual trips, since the essence of individual adventures is that adventurers perform an activity without the help of companies. Related industries are of importance though, because individuals will never be able to reach a destination without infrastructure, they can never perform an activity without equipment, nor training for or information about the activity or destination.
This book is intended for readers who have a general knowledge of how the tourism industry works, for example because they are working in the adventure tourism sector, or because they are taking an undergraduate course in tourism management.
The book consists of three parts. In the first part it is explained what can be understood by the term adventure tourism. This is important, because there are many misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the term. A single definition of adventure tourism cannot be given since it is based on each individual’s personal perspective, experiences and skills. further, adventure trends, demand and supply will be dealt with. The second part deals with the operations of adventures. General factors like risks, environment, marketing and communication will be explained. This part aims to provide the reader with information about how to manage a company within the adventure industry. The third part deals with practical situations in the adventure industry. A very important aspect of adventure tourism, which is arguably more important than for other sectors of the tourism industry, concerns issues related to group dynamics and leadership. In an adventure tourism setting, tourists are often faced with situations that demand mutual trust and assistance. Additionally, it lies within the nature of adventure tourism that people who did not know each other before the trip will do activities together for a couple of days and will be together for 24 hours a day. This commitment gives an extra dimension to the adventure trip, which is important to be well prepared for. Consequently, the element of how to deal with risks is another important factor in adventure tourism.