Adventure conference launches new Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research
Keynote speakers Carl Cater (left) and Paul Beedie (front) with Steven Taylor and Paul Varley of West Highland College UHI.
A two-day adventure conference, running in Fort William this week, will hear that the health and well-being benefits of just being outdoors are equally as good for you as high adrenalin pursuits.
Run by the new Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research (CRTR) at West Highland College UHI, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, the conference brings together leading academics, entrepreneurs and practitioners working in the outdoor adventure sector to exchange ideas and confront the issues emerging for this exciting and distinctive niche of leisure, tourism and education in the early 21st century.
“Drawing upon the rich socio-cultural characteristics of the area and set under the stunning and iconic backdrop of Ben Nevis, as the Outdoor Capital of the UK, Fort William offers the perfect location for an adventure conference,” said Dr Peter Varley, senior research fellow. “This event brings together academics and industry practitioners from all over the world to discuss the exciting future of the fastest growing tourism sector.
Keynote speakers, Dr Carl Cater and Dr Paul Beedie, both leading academics in the adventure tourism sector, will look at the meaning of adventure, its activities and differing elements of skill and risk and how the adventure tourism sector is attracting an increasingly exacting clientele.
Donald Leitch, West Highland College UHI principal added: “We are delighted to welcome speakers from across the globe – from Greece to Canada and from New Zealand to Nepal - to our new Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research. This conference takes a novel approach, exploring not only a range of adventurous pursuits, from the well-established high-adrenalin activities, with their own sub-agenda of health and well-being, but also an emerging counter-movement that places greater emphasis on just ‘being’ in wild places, recognising ourselves as a part of these places.”
Currently working on a project for Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, CRTR provides research and consultancy services to the recreation and tourism sectors, on subjects as diverse as adventure tourism, tourism policy, outdoor recreation, strategy development and tourism marketing. The Centre is in the process of developing postgraduate and commercial courses, while staff members are involved in Masters and PhD supervision, for UK-based students and overseas.
The conference runs today and tomorrow (16 and 17 February.)
Senior Research Fellow
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