University of Oulu

Saarinen, J. (2022) Wilderness tourism: Nature-based tourist experiences in wild places. In R. Sharpley (ed.), Routledge Handbook of the Tourist Experience (pp. 521-532). Routledge.

Wilderness tourism : nature-based tourist experiences in wild places

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Author: Saarinen, Jarkko1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Routledge, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-11-15


In recent decades wilderness environments have faced a growing demand for tourists to experience natural areas, and the tourism industry has placed an increasing interest on nature-based and adventure tourism products taking place in wilderness or other wild places. In general, the link between conserving wild places and tourist activities and experiences is probably as old as the history of protecting wilderness areas. This connection between tourism and the wilderness may seem paradoxical. On the one hand, a wilderness is often considered as a place where natural processes and wildlife rule and humans and human activities should not really exist. On the other hand, however, tourism is obviously a human activity that may conflict with the notions of a wilderness as a non-human environment and a ‘white area on a map’. In this respect, the relation between tourism and wilderness and nature conservation, in general, has been a synergistic one, but as the new forms of nature-based and adventure tourism have grown, this positive relationship has turned into a conflicting one in many places. This chapter discusses the nature and role of wilderness environments and wild places in tourism. First, the idea of the wilderness and its relationship with land ethics are introduced, followed by a discussion on the wilderness as a tourist attraction and a place for nature-based tourist experiences. Finally, governance needs for wilderness tourism are briefly debated, followed by a concluding section.

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ISBN: 978-1-003-21986-6
ISBN Print: 978-1-032-11425-5 978-1-032-11427-9
Pages: 521 - 532
DOI: 10.4324/9781003219866-42
Host publication: Routledge handbook of the tourist experience
Host publication editor: Sharpley, Richard
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Copyright information: © 2022 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Routledge Handbook of the Tourist Experience on 18 November 2021, available online: