It is claimed that people’s quality of life may be greatly improved through tourism [10
]. As a ‘social force’ [13
] it can in many ways create comfortable, hospitable spaces in which people can temporarily slow down, feel safe and secure, dwell, bond and belong, and in which they can, in the basic, primitive, ontological sense, feel well. Thus, vacations have been increasingly ‘prescribed’ [14
]. Ever more people are travelling for the purpose of improving their general health and wellbeing, which has prompted redesigning and developing diverse tourism products that promote both physical and mental health. This espouses preventative rather than curative approaches to personal health management and the visitation of destinations and facilities that support this. Many destinations worldwide are now creating their products to meet the needs of postmodern consumers interested in lifestyle-based wellness and overall wellbeing [15
]. In particular, short nature-breaks have the power to ‘fix’ the body, spirit and mind, and offer compensation for people’s alienated, fast-paced lives [16
]. These therapeutic and restorative powers of nature have been highlighted [17
]. Various authors raise awareness of the necessity for continued research into the benefits of tourism on people’s wellbeing. By way of example, the interplay of tourism, health, wellbeing and protected areas has been recently discussed [19
], illuminating the ways in which these four broad fields of research co-exist. Simultaneously looking at the preservation of protected areas on the one hand, and the health and wellbeing of their consumers on the other, the authors aim to deepen our understanding of the synergy of these themes and suggest ways in which together they can bring long-term benefits for multiple agents participating in this process. There have been correlations between spending time outdoors and people’s subjective wellbeing, which is directly linked to people’s overall happiness [20
] and anxiety reduction [21
]. The concept of wilderness therapy [22
] has also brought some in-depth insights into the health benefits of undertaking activities in natural environments.
Therefore, either being or being active in nature is claimed to have noteworthy physical, mental, emotional and spiritual effects on people’s physical and mental health [10
]. In reconnecting with the natural world, some individuals opt for travelling to unfamiliar and remote wild places, releasing their ‘adventurous’ spirit and searching for their ‘authentic’ being. Adventure, however, has been mostly associated with a purchasable short-term holiday experience and as a marketing hook for potential consumers who wish to engage in what Varley et al. [27
] termed as ‘scream-n-go’ experiences. Adventure tourism, through commodification of such experiences, has become one of the fastest growing niche tourism forms, being researched from multiple perspectives to date. Rantala et al., however, stated that adventure tourism is a “concept which has different meanings and uses depending on context”, which is “too broad and too fluid” [28
] (p. 9). Commercially, it is defined as a product “where the principal attraction is an outdoor activity that relies on features of the natural terrain, generally requires specialised equipment, and is exciting for the tour clients” [29
] (p. 2). It mostly promotes ‘hard’ or fast adventure activities such as climbing, mountaineering, white-water kayaking, bungee jumping or snowmobiling, all of which are usually embedded into the natural environment.