WIT Press

Sustainability Of Adventure Tourism: The Economic Highway


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WIT Press


L. Steynberg & J. P. Grundling


Adventure travel is one of the fastest growing but least understood forms of international tourism. Its role in the economic development of rural destinations and its impact on local society, economy, and the environment are not fully comprehended, even though adventure tourism has been adopted enthusiastically by many Third World nations. This paper analyzes adventure tourism in South Africa and places it within the theoretical frameworks of sustainable development. With its steady growth, adventure tourism in South Africa will play an increasingly important role for national and local development in the frontier areas and therefore the appraisal of adventure tourism for sustainable development prompts critical study of the interactive roles of economic growth and environmental sustainability. By acting as a vehicle for economic interaction between developed and developing regions, adventure tourism thus transfers the concerns of sustainable development to the futures of some of the world’s most remote places. Hence, concerns are raised regarding the aggressive growth paths followed, which may have a detrimental effect on sustainable adventure tourism. Keywords: adventure tourism, sustainability, economic, growth paths. 1 Introduction International tourism plays a contentious role for developing countries. The analysis of tourism parallels a general paradigm shift away from purely growth-oriented economic development towards more sustainable forms of development (Brookfield, [3]). The new paradigm requires programmes that limit the negative effects of economic behaviour on local environments and cultures, and propose linkages between economy, culture, and ecology. According to


adventure tourism, sustainability, economic, growth paths.