15 thoughts on “Honors World Regional Blog Post #8

  1. Adventure Tourism
    As we learned in class, Australia will kill you. There is a large desert. Drought and bush fires are common because rainfall is decreasing. Cyclones are also a hazard. Mining causes pollution. Invasive species populations are getting out of control, so much so that many homes has frogs the way an American home might have ants.
    And yet, with all these hazards, Australia is still the adventure capital of the world. Visiting caves, seeing concerts, and wine tasting are the more mild adventures. Zorbing, ocean canoeing, base jumping, game hunting, diving, mountain climbing, helicopter exploring, and so much more are the more extreme options. You can even surf with sharks if you’re as outgoing as the Hemsworth brothers. Scuba diving around the Great Barrier Reef is a huge attraction. Many movies were filmed in Australia, so people come to see those locations. The unique and exotic wildlife bring many tourists. The Outback creates space for adventure and exploring. Many waterfalls and other natural wonders are popular spots. The tropical islands around Australia make great vacation spots because of the beautiful beaches as well as fascinating flora and fauna.
    Australia in modern time started as a place for rough criminals to live and farm away from the good people of England. Now it’s a place where rough Westerners go to see just how tough they are.
    Here are some reasons why I don’t want to visit Australia:
    Giant crabs the size of the dogs, sharks, crocodiles, jellyfish, and snakes that eat kagaroos are just a few.

  2. As someone who has been skydiving (and probably will never go ever again), I can say that I see the appeal of extreme sports and adventure tourism especially in an “exotic” location like New Zealand. However, I can also see the downside (or downsides, rather). I’m not someone who should ever become a mountaineer; I’m too accident-prone and not athletic enough. For that reason, I’m not too hell-bent on paying someone $50,000+ just for the ability to say I’ve climbed a certain mountain. Of course that doesn’t mean others wouldn’t do the same, which accounts for many of the accidents that occur on mountains, or in the air, on in the ocean, etc. Part of this comes from man’s quest for innovation; to make every event bigger and better than before. At some point, we have to start wondering when “bigger and better” crosses a line into deadly. I think with mountaineering and other types of adventure tourism, it’s pretty easy to cross that line. Some people (i.e. me) shouldn’t attempt a summit of Mt. Everest. Or really any other mountain of significant altitude. Other things, it’s easier to see its popularity. Skydiving, Zorbing (which looks awesome), and kayaking are much more accessible, with lesser risk. What is surprising to me is that people continue to pay for adventure expeditions even if people have died before them and even if there is an inherent risk involved (and most of the time that risk can include death).
    A cursory glance at adventure tourism sites in New Zealand can show how such tourism tends to highlight the Maori in their tours. Excluding skydiving, many kayaking expeditions seem to emphasize the importance of kayaking and “water sports” for New Zealanders as a whole, rather than citing the importance to the Maori. What I have come to expect, as someone who has been spelunking in Belize, is that such tourism attempts to give a cursory history of the indigenous peoples’ beliefs for tourists when in reality, there is still a large disconnect and disrespect for their beliefs. While I hope that that is not the case in New Zealand, it still occurs widely throughout the world. For instance, westerners going to Asia to ride elephants which in turns contributes to the poor treatment of elephants. Or students going to Belize to explore a Mayan ceremonial cave (guilty) without really knowing the history behind the stories and legends other than reading a book here or there. From an economic standpoint, then, I think Adventure Tourism is a great thing for countries that utilize it; from a cultural standpoint, I can see how adventure tourism, especially when it highlights a culture that is not generally theirs (for instance, a non-Maya tour guide for an expedition of a Mayan cave), it can hold problematic undertones for the indigenous cultures present in those areas.

  3. Adventure tourism is a fairly recent phenomenon. Essentially, adventure tourism thrives on the fact that tourists want to feel a real sense of danger and will pay lots of money for said experience. In most cases, humans strive to stay far away from danger. With this tourism, however, the major desirability for tourists is witnessing the threat.

    In the top left image, we see a group of people on a mountain that is relatively high up, but not so high that a helicopter can’t reach. In some cases, people will go even farther than this, however, and pay up to $60,000 to experience a climb up Everest. In most cases, this means they are a burden on the experienced hikers, but the risk is still very real. Any accident past the “death zone” would be fatal, and rich risk-takers will pay lots of money to feel this possibility first hand.

    The top right image is less dangerous it would seem. Instead of climbing a mountain, these tourists seem to be falling down a hill inside a bubble device so they will not be harmed. There is probably still some danger to this, but it is interesting that tourists would pay money to be put through this. It is similar to a roller coaster thrill ride, but with more possibility of something going wrong. That sense of real danger seems to be the common theme drawing everyone in.

    In the middle left image, it is very difficult to know what is going on. It seems like a group of women with a man steering their boat/canoe through dangerous looking waves. Again, the risk probably is not that high with this, but it is very interesting to think that people would pay money to do something like this when they could relax somewhere on the beach, instead of riding the waves while standing.

    The bottom left image is a controlled rappel down alongside a waterfall. This seems the most enjoyable of the attractions shown, but is still highly dangerous. Places with excellent scenery and large heights can easily find tourists who will pay to experience this type of descent. Being able to experience the natural beauty while being in a dangerous situation is clearly a big draw for adventure seekers.

    The last image is an individual on a very scary peak. He seems to have some type of device tied to him, but at this point the safety harness does not seem like it would do much good. Even for adventure tourism, this seems like a little too much risk. The athleticism and bravery to get there is impressive, but the overall risk seems to make the feat a too senseless to try.

    Clearly adventure tourism has become an excellent way for countries with great sceneries and natural risks to make revenue. Areas like Australia have thrived on this allure of the outback and the wild. There are many people who want to experience what these areas really have to offer. As the pictures show, there are lots of ways to get that sense of adventure if the tourist is daring enough.

  4. As if seeing new and amazing sights wasn’t enough, “adventure tourism” has taken its place in the world. Be honest, adventure tourism just sounds better than regular old tourism. Is it not far more exciting to say you’ve heli-skied down the Alps as opposed to just regular skiing at some resort? Of course it is. And yet adventure tourism, as many point out, is rife with danger.

    For some, this negates the draw to such extreme actions. A fear of heights can easily deter one from wanting to do anything involving mountains, such as skiing or rock climbing. Phobias of water or sharks will instantly deter surfing with the predators of the great big blue. Interesting enough, however, is the opposite effect.
    Rather than push some people away, it draws them in. Desiring to conquer their fears, or perhaps enhance the exhilaration by facing them head on, they flock to adventure tourism. Of course, not everyone is attempting to have a showdown with some deeply held phobia. Nevertheless, adventure tourism provides an outlet for those that are.

    This was definitely the case for me when I went cliff diving in the Caribbean as a child. Of course, cliff diving is minor compared to the more extreme tourism adventures. But at 10 years old and with a mild fear of heights (or at the very least the landing, not the fall), it was as much as an adventure tourist as I’d ever been at the time. Standing on the ledge, I froze. It took several minutes of encouragement from family, and the promise of a Batman toy if I went through with it, until I made the leap. For all the fear, the moment my feet left the ledge an inexplicable rush took ahold of me. I went from scared out of my mind to having the greatest time of my life in a split second. I spent the next hours repeating the process again and again, searching for that same rush. My family had to drag me away; it was that much fun. I never again feared heights the way I used to. These days, I’m working to be an airborne paratrooper in the Army after I graduate. Quite a change, wouldn’t you say?

    So what was it about that experience, what kept me so enthralled? Fear. Instinctual, primal, fear. We’re hardwired to be wary of heights, simply for the fact that ancestors who didn’t have such a fear more often plummeted to their death and thus didn’t reproduce. But why would I be drawn in by fear then? You’ll often hear a phrase associated with extremes, be it adventure tourism, sports, even fighting, “adrenaline junkie.” Fear of death, realizing we run a significant risk of it by whatever action we are taking, produces a huge range of emotions. For many people, this range of emotions is exhilarating. The senses are fully operational, every one functioning at maximum capacity. Your brain is on overdrive. As the saying goes, you never feel as alive as when you’re close to death.

    Thus, for me, adventure tourism makes sense. You take the simple act of traveling, escaping the norms of everyday life to see the world, and you combine it with this exhilarating showdown with fear. Even for people who don’t hold a great phobia, there is always some fear associated with the risk of death. In essence, you’re taking the normal ideas of a worldly vacation and adding an extreme experience, with all of its potential excitement. Few other things can produce the same draw, and thus we see the rise and increasingly popularity of adventure tourism.

  5. The popularity of adventure tourism has drastically increased in the past decade. According to an Adventure Tourism Market Study by George Washington University this market has increased by a whopping 65% since 2009.

    I can definitely understand the appeal of adventure tourism. I have always had a drive to adventure especially when traveling. I have wanted to go skydiving and tried, unsuccessfully to convince my aunt to let me skydive when she took me to Australia when I was 13 years old. I plan to complete this goal during my next travel adventure. Skydiving is probably the most recognizable form of adventure tourism, and is very popular in Australia. Everywhere I went I would see flyers for sky diving adventures that claimed Australia to be the skydiving capital of the world.

    Another very common form of Adventure tourism is Scuba Diving. The most spectacular reef diving in the world is at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. After snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, I knew that I wanted to get my Scuba Diving Certification. I just completed the Scuba Diving class through the University of Arkansas and will be certified after completing the open water portion this summer. Scuba is very popular around the world with 23 million being certified by Padi since 1967. This is great form of adventure tourism because people can dive while on vacations as an activity or plan trips where the main focus is diving. There is also so many different types of diving and dive sites so divers can continue to challenge themselves and discover new locations.

    Climbing, hiking, and repelling are other common forms of adventure tourism. These can range for very tame to life threatening. Examples range from a nice easy hike through a national park to paying $50,000 to have an expert lead you on a Mount Everest climbing expedition. Even though Everest is the most famous of the world most dangerous climbs, there are still other mountains that people would consider even more deadly. These include Annapurna and K2 which fatality rate reach thirty and twenty percent.

    Even though I have a bit of an adventure bug, mine does not even come close to some adventure tourism daredevils. Some of the more hazardous adventure tourism requires a bit of a death wish (or at least the feeling of invincibility) from there participants. Some of the most dangerous forms of adventure tourism include extreme mountain climbing, free solo climbing, proximity wing suit gliding, hang gliding, heli-skiing, etc. In these activities, risk of injury and death are very high, but this fact only attracts some adrenaline junkies more.

    Regardless of the varying degrees of people’s taste for danger, adventure tourism has exploded around the world, and the dangerous just keeps increasing as people search for the next new ventures that challenges previous limits in the search mastering formerly unconquered feats.

  6. Due to the increase in disposable income, as well as the mysticism created by certain places in the globe, have given birth to adventure tourism, one of the most widespread trends among thrills seekers everywhere.

    This adventurers are drawn to places like the Everest in Nepal or the Coral Reef in Australia, to name a few, in the hopes of obtaining an adventure that will fulfill their adrenaline rush, as well as providing a means to seem more daring and adventurous than their friends and family at home.
    This increase in adventure tourism has also been helped by the improvement of sports equipment, as well as the improvement in travel methods to those places, that have become less inhospitable and recondite with the increasing interest of tourists.

    Thus while it took climbers in 1880 a couple months of train rides and walking roads to get to the Everest, it only took modern adventurers a 12hour flight from their western airport to Nepal, followed by a car ride to the base camp. The improvement of equipment that has increase the survivability of said endeavors have made tourist more interested in said encounters in an effort to satisfy their adrenaline rush, thus while still incredibly dangerous, said activities are not as dangerous for modern explorers than for their counterparts in the last century.

    Thus from climbing mountains in Nepal, to swimming with sharks in Australia, to gliding across the skyline of Rio de Janeiro, adventure tourism has brought the spotlight to regions of the world that were previously unknown due to their lack of use for the people of the past.

  7. Adventure Tourism has become the next level of vacations. People flood to exciting countries like New Zealand to experience something that most of their friends will gawk at. Not only do these adventures provide a great Instagram picture, it also makes for a great story to at a dinner party. The appeal of adventure tourism for me is the thrill of the fall. There is nothing that can compare to the feeling of conquering whatever fears you may have had and free falling or cruising down a river, or reaching the peak of a mountain. That feeling is what people will pay big money for.

    Countries with the environment to do these adventures have serious opportunity to make large profits. Skydiving, cliff diving, mountain climbing, hamster balls, kayaking, the possibilities are endless. In places like New Zealand and Australia, spectacular views to go with make the experiences they offer unique and in comparable. The big adventures bring people in and gain significant profits, but tourists need accommodation by hotels, restaurants, and transportation services which all boost an economy.

    Repercussions of bringing people into these spectacular sites can be devastating. Agencies in charge of these sites have to be on top of litter control to avoid ruining the natural environment. Masses of people also requires parking lots, roads, bathrooms, and other accommodations that degrade the nature surrounding sites for adventure. There has to be a balance between profit and destruction of beautiful lands.

  8. The field of recreational adventure tourism is growing rapidly. Technological advances have made adventure tourism safer and more accessible causing more and more people to get involved in this kind of tourism. Tourism play a big role in a countries economy. Countries like Costa Rica, United States, and Australia make billions of dollars a year due to tourism. In 2008, International tourism brought 2.1 billion dollars in revenue to Costa Rica. Tourism is the third largest industry in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is ranked in the top 60 countries for tourist destination. Twenty-five percent of Costa Rica’s land is dedicated to conservations and national parks. Because Costa Rica has so much land dedicated to conservations and national parks, its biggest form of tourism is eco-tourism; which focuses more on education of the environment. Costa Rica is a home to volcanoes, rainforest, beaches, rives, and waterfalls. Eco-tourism helps the local people by giving them an economic world being, while showcasing the landscape, and providing the country with a form of tourism. Adventure tourism attracts people who crave a little more than sightseeing. It is different from other forms of tourism like eco-tourist because it is more thrilling and dangerous. Tourist have a variety of activities to choose from such as rafting, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, cliff diving, rock climbing, fishing and much more. The country’s most iconic and earliest tourist attraction is a canopy zip line that runs across a tropical rainforest. My dad has got to explore many countries in Central America and has said that Costa Rica is one of his favorite countries to tour. He has told me stories of all the adventures he had; ranging from snorkeling to traveling through parts of the rainforest to get to beautiful waterfalls. I hope to one day have the chance to explore Costa Rica and experience all the thrilling adventure it has to offer.

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