Wellness and equestrian tourism – new kind of adventure?

Ingibjörg Sigurðardóttir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Being outdoors, enjoying nature and getting away from the strain and stress of everyday life seem to be of an increasing importance to many people. This is part of the drive towards slow tourism and slow adventures. This research contributes to this academic field by bringing into discussion the niche of equestrian tourism. Mixed method research was conducted to find out: (1) if operators in equestrian tourism in Iceland are currently focusing their product development and marketing towards adventure or health, and (2) whether a combination of slow adventure, wellness and outdoor recreation is a realistic option for innovation within equestrian tourism. Content analysis of webpages (n = 71) and open ended interviews (n = 21) with equestrian operators indicate that the adventure concept is important in equestrian tourism but mainly with a focus on hazardous adventures. Systematic use of health tourism concepts in the development of equestrian tourism products seems to be limited. However operators are aware of many of the existing resources that could be used for innovation of equestrian tourism businesses towards slow adventures and wellness. This research concludes that opportunities for combining equestrian tourism, slow adventures, wellness and outdoor activities in focused product development do exist. However the small lifestyle entrepreneurs, who form the majority of the equestrian tourism industry, need more external financial and epistemic support to entering the highly developed and demanding market of health tourism. Therefore, making use of these opportunities requires a re-thinking of the connectivity of the wellness and adventure tourism concepts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-392
Number of pages16
JournalScandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Other keywords

  • Equestrian tourism
  • innovation
  • outdoor recreation
  • slow adventure
  • wellness

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