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Geosciences 2018, 8(10), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8100376

The Riding Trail as Geotourism Attraction: Evidence from Iceland

1
Department of Business and IT, University of South-Eastern Norway, Gullbringvegen 36, 3800 Bø i Telemark, Norway
2
Rural Tourism Department, Hólar University College, Háskólinn á Hólum, Hólar í Hjaltadal, 551 Sauðárkrókur, Iceland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 August 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 9 October 2018 / Published: 12 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geotourism)
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Abstract

The geological aspects of tourism are much more extensive than just places to be viewed and/or experienced. The terrain traveled is also a geological phenomenon and an attraction in itself. For a hiker or a rider the type of trail is important. Features of the trail such as the gradient, altitude, the soil qualities, the length and the vistas it affords are important geological considerations. The trail as an experienced geological attraction, or should we say, the foundation for horse based tourism, particularly long rides, is the topic of this paper. The research is based on different sources. Existing data from earlier research on the Icelandic horse industry and equestrian tourism are used, as well as eight interviews conducted for this study. Further, the authors use their personal experiences as riders and horse tourists to reflect on the topic. Findings indicate that the riding trail and its surroundings can be defined as geosites and equestrian tourists as casual geotourists. The trails as geosites have different values for its stakeholders. The trails seem to have values such as scientific/educational, cultural/heritage, scenic and touristic values, just as other geosites. Furthermore, we argue that riding trails do have an economic value, as well as an emotional/romantic value. View Full-Text
Keywords: geotourism; riding trails; horseback riding; heritage; experience value geotourism; riding trails; horseback riding; heritage; experience value
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Helgadóttir, G.; Sigurðardóttir, I. The Riding Trail as Geotourism Attraction: Evidence from Iceland. Geosciences 2018, 8, 376.

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