Client Experiences in Mountaineering Tourism and Implications for Outdoor Leaders


  • Susan Houge Mackenzie University of Idaho
  • John H. Kerr University of British Columbia


Adventure tourism is a growth industry valued at over $142 billion (Xola Consulting, 2010). However, quality qualitative studies exploring subjective adventure tourism experiences and outdoor leadership are lacking (e.g., Hudson, 2003). Researchers have generally conceived of adventure tourism as an extension of adventure recreation and focused primarily on the physical risks involved in these activities (Weber, 2001). Few empirical studies have described clients' subjective adventure experiences or examined differences in risk perceptions due to previous experiences, propensities, or leadership styles (Arnould, Price, & Tierney, 1998; Gyimothy & Mykletun, 2004, Weber, 2008). Research has yet to fully explore subjective adventure tourism experiences; psychological risks associated with adventure tourism; and how the management or mismanagement of these risks by outdoor leaders may affect experience quality Weber, 2001).