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|Author :||Mingming Chen, Deborah Edward, Simon Darcy|
|School/Work Place :||University of Technology Sydney, Australia|
As a niche market, adventure tourism has been developing rapidly in many regions and territories, evidenced by increasing number of participants and intensive growth of adventure tourism products (Adventure Travel Trade Association, 2013; Tourism New Zealand, 2013). It has become an important component of the tourism industry in many Western countries (e.g. New Zealand) and is gaining some prominence in domestic tourism in select emerging countries (e.g. China and Brazil). This particular growth of adventure tourism sector in past two decades is closely related to the increase of all types of nature based tourism. Adventure tourism has been strongly likened to outdoor and adventure recreation (Buckley, 2006; Pomfret & Bramwell, 2014; Sung, Morrison, & O'Leary, 1996). Buckley (2006), for example, sees little distinction between the terms adventure tourism, nature tourism, outdoor and adventure recreation in some cases. However, research in adventure tourism has been slight, especially when compared with the large number of other dominant special interest tourism studies (Buckley, 2010). As such, an updated review article on adventure tourism in the tourism context seems essential.
The aim of this paper is to advance extant reviews on adventure tourism through a more, systematic, objective and integrated review of this literature. The distinctive contribution of this study is our novel and comprehensive empirical approach in analysing the structure and content of the adventure tourism field. Our approach identifies the theoretical foundations and key themes that underpin the core of the adventure tourism field by combining bibliometric methods of network based direction-citation and co-citation analysis, content analysis and a quantitative systemic review.