Scholars have called for a ‘transformative turn’ in the post COVID-19 consumer landscape which not only goes beyond sustainable and responsible everyday practices, but also encourages alternative ways of ‘doing’ tourism (Brouder et al., 2020). This assumes undertaking the activities in a more responsible way and at a slower pace, while allowing time for restoration, recuperation and reconnection with the self, others and the natural world. In a way, slow activities attempt to strengthen or restore a simplified, local and place-specific pattern of living, as well as allow opportunities for the generation of rich, immersive and more meaningful experiences for the consumer.
One of the strong advocates of such concept of travel is Varley and Semple’s (2015) “slow adventure”. Grounding it in the Nordic philosophy of friluftsliv, they emphasize the significance of tourists’ ontological being, or dwelling, in nature. The authors suggest four critical elements of slow adventure journey: time, nature, passage and comfort, all of which suggest deeper appreciation of and bodily engagement with the environment. Commercially, the concept of slow adventure is being increasingly used. By way of example, the tourism industry in northern Europe took the concept of slow adventure further through a transnational project Slow Adventure in Northern Territories (SAINT, 2015). The project sought to raise awareness of the concept and introduce contemporary consumers to an alternative dimension of “adventure.” Through the development of a spinoff company, Slow Adventure Ltd, travel providers are increasingly offering slow adventure activities to bring marginal or remote areas closer to visitors through activities as simple as star gazing, open water swimming, creel fishing, wild camping or cooking foraged foods. In so doing, an emphasis is placed on authenticity and sustainability of the local community, natural environment and cultural heritage. The vital principles of the slow adventure philosophy and its ethos engender an element of regenerative tourism, customers donating to local sustainability and conservation


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Farkic, J., Taylor, S. & Bellshaw, S. 2023, 'Slow adventure in remote and rural areas – Creating and narrating the tourism product', Ethical and Responsible Tourism: Managing Sustainability in Local Tourism Destinations. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003358688

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Last updated: 16 May 2024
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