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Introduction

Authored by: David Fennell

The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and the Environment

Print publication date:  July  2012
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415582070
eBook ISBN: 9780203121108
Adobe ISBN: 9781136325564

10.4324/9780203121108.ch11

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Abstract

The diversity of opportunities available to tourists occurs along a broad spectrum from settings that have been significantly modified or developed by human intervention, to those settings with little or no human modification. The importance of the natural environment to both developed and especially the undeveloped spaces cannot be underestimated. The search for the novel and exotic continues to propel tourists into unique environments that offer quite specific attractions. The type of setting is thus vitally important in generating the rather specific interests and motivations of tourists. Mountain systems – the plants and animals and people who inhabit these spaces – carry with them a certain type of character or romantic that offers a base of attractions far different from freshwater or marine systems. It is perhaps the inter-play between the natural and the social/cultural that generates touristic interest in all that these places have to offer in a general capacity, but it can also be an interest that is far more specific. Tourists seek different ecosystem types with quite specific interests in mind, and these can relate to adventure (e.g. climbing), nature (e.g. birding), culture (e.g. indigenous histories), and the list goes on.

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