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Explorer Travellers and Adventure Tourism

Explorer Travellers and Adventure Tourism

Dr. Jennifer Laing | Dr. Warwick Frost


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This book examines the nexus between exploring and tourism and argues that exploration travel – based heavily on explorer narratives and the promises of personal challenges and change – is a major trend in future tourism. In particular, it analyses how romanticised myths of explorers form a foundation for how modern day tourists view travel and themselves. Its scope ranges from the 'Golden Age' of imperial explorers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, through the growth of adventure and extreme tourism, to possible future trends including space travel. The volume should appeal to researchers and students across a variety of disciplines, including tourism studies, sociology, geography and history.

This book is absolutely stunning. No dull moments while reading it. Its easy writing style, enlightening and amusing citations from interviews and published texts, and the authors' own reflections tease your inner explorer and adventurer. Look out – your view on travelling will change while reading this meaningful text, and most likely you'll start planning your own expedition.

Reidar Johan Mykletun, University of Stavanger, Norway

Engaging, well-written and concise, this book provides a context for the tourist-traveller debate – a microcosm of social and cultural complexity where the quotidian meets the extraordinary and the economy of colonisation meets the egos of the great explorers. It is this legacy that explains our ongoing fascination with frontier adventure travel from exotic journeys through 'otherness' to space travel.

Paul Beedie, University of Bedfordshire, UK

Jennifer Laing is a Senior Lecturer at La Trobe University, Australia. Her research interests include heritage, events, travel narratives and the interaction between media, popular culture and tourism. She also co-edits the Advances in Event Research series (Routledge) with Warwick Frost.

Warwick Frost is an Associate Professor at La Trobe University, Australia. His research interests include natural and cultural heritage and the interplay between tourism and popular culture. His recent publications include Books and Travel (with Jennifer Laing, 2012).

The purpose of this review is to give the potential reader a brief sense of the range of issues and of travellers discussed so brilliantly
in this book. It would make a fine addition to the academic literature in any tourism library, personal or institutional. And it is, quite
simply, a good read.

Paul F. Wilkinson, York University, Canada

In this topical volume, Jennifer Laing and Warwick Frost venture into uncharted conceptual territory to portray the socio-cultural context of explorer travel. In a comprehensive and critical review of archetypal, fictive and autobiographic narratives of the frontier traveler – including seldom depicted female adventurers – they vividly demonstrate how mediatized adventure pursuits affect a wide range of contemporary tourism experiences, also encompassing food explorers and space tourists. A long anticipated cross-disciplinary reconceptualization of the transformative journey!

Szilvia Gyimóthy, Aalborg University, Denmark

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Contents v
1 Introducing the Explorer Traveller 1
Part 1 The Hero’s Journey 21
2 The Call to Adventure 23
3 Preparation and Departure 43
4 The Journey 59
5 The Return 80
Part 2 Imagining Explorers 101
6 Fiction and the Myth of the Explorer 103
7 Desert Island Castaways 121
8 Re-enactments 138
Part 3 Tourists at Play 163
9 Crossing Borders 165
10 On Safari 183
Part 4 The Future 203
11 Destination Mars 205
12 The Explorer Traveller: The Myth Continues 225
Sources A: Participants Interviewed 242
Sources B: Primary References 244
Secondary References 249
Index 260