Looking the part: the relationship between adventure tourism and the outdoor fashion industry.
Adventure tourism provides powerful narratives for the construction of self, equipping participants with the cultural capital to colour in holiday experiences. In addition the 'dressing up' involved in many adventure tourism activities is a central part of their performative nature, as there is often the requirement to feel that the participant is wearing suitable attire for the experience. Costumes, such as lifejackets, help participants get into their roles as adventurers, even when their use is not strictly necessary. Costumes also form an important part continuing the touristic tradition of 'been there, got the t-shirt'. However, in adventure tourism these are usually worn with an intense pride, seeking to display the badges of an adventurous spirit, thus completing the circuit of culture. As a result this merchandise may be viewed as an informal and yet highly effective marketing channel for the operators. This phenomenon is parallelled and related to the increasing size of the adventure clothing industry. Thus a huge consumer goods industry has grown alongside the tourism itself, of increasing political as well as societal significance. The paper shall discuss these themes drawing on the author's experience of adventure tourism including examples from Australia, New Zealand and Norway. The importance of costumes to the experience itself, the marketing challenges faced by adventure operators and the broader relationship to the global outdoor clothing industry will be highlighted.
Taking Tourism to the Limits: Issues, concepts and managerial perspectives
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