Outdoor Recreation And Leisure Tourism Essay

Outdoor recreation and leisure is very present in the Mauritian context. Being an island, Mauritians as well as tourists try to benefit the most from the unique environment and climate which is ideal for leisure activities (Badat, 2009). As the island offers a wide range of prospects in terms of outdoor recreation, such as trekking, kayaking, snorkeling amongst others, it is a must to experience at least one among them (MTPA, 2011). In this respect, the study selects a particular outdoor recreation and studies the various aspects which are involved within.

Aim of study

An in depth analysis of Yemaya Adventures

Objectives of study

To identify the activities provided and its impacts.

To identify the marketing strategies of the organization.

To find out to which extend the organisation is sustainable

To participate in an activity provided by the organization.


With regards to our outdoor recreation project, all start with contacting several leisure providers like Dive Sail Travel, Cap Soleil, Ican Tropic , Yemaya Adventures and so forth. At first, it was quite difficult to contact those companies as it was time consuming, the person in charge was unable to provide us with clear and accurate information and the prices that are charged for those activities were too expensive. Finally, we contacted Yemaya and while dealing with the person we noticed that there was effective communication compared to other organizations and the prices were cheaper. Thus, we decided to go for Yemaya Adventures.

Moreover, for our methodology participant observation and interview were used as our research instruments. Participant observation is a very commonly used observation technique (REF ) and in this method, one needs to participate in order to obtain data. Through participant observation one can obtain first-hand data as well as in depth information about the leisure provider. However, it is very time consuming. We also interviewed the manager of Yemaya Adventures, Mr Patrick Haberland and this enables us to know about the organisation’s other activities that they provide, how they market their organization and what is more crucial is to what extent the activities of the organization is sustainable.

Overview of Yemaya Adventures

Literature review

Definitions and Concept of Leisure, recreation and tourism 

Leisure, recreation and tourism are generally viewed as key components in people’s lives (Lynch and Veal (1996). Outdoor recreation brings happiness to people as it gives recreational opportunities to them.  Leisure means various things to different people and therefore it consists of many definitions given by many researchers.  For instance, Fava (1964) stated that leisure is the time which an individual has free from work or other responsibilities and which may be used for the purpose of relaxation, diversion, or personal development.  In contrast, according to Godbey (1999), a leading researcher in the field of leisure education said that leisure is typically related with spare time or situations in which people have the luxury of choice.  Sylvester (1999) stated that, we must not neglect the fact that in ancient time, leisure was considered as a luxury and was affordable by affluent people only. 


The term recreation is originated from the Latin word of recreation and recreate which means “to refresh” and “to restore” (Edginton et al 1995).

Examples of outdoor recreation involve:

Visiting parks and natural areas.

Visiting historical and archaeological sites.

Outdoor concerts and festival.

Golf and kite flying 

Forest activities like wildlife safari, camping and tree climbing.

Importance of Outdoor Recreation 

Research has shown that outdoor recreation activities undoubtedly contribute positively to one health as well as well-being (Boniface, 2000; Dickson, Gray and Mann, 2008).  Through recreation activities, people get the opportunity to enjoy the natural environment if they are doing adventure activities, interact with other people (Berman and Davis-Berman, 2000).

Moreover, study has illustrated that the way life alters with the loss of link which inevitably result to poor lifestyles (Godbey, Caldwell, Floyd and Payne 2005).  Nowadays, the new generation mainly children are more likely to be at risks than their parents.  Children currently have more possibilities of health problems, such as asthma, obesity, vitamin D deficiency since they have inactive lifestyle as well as lack of physical exercises (REFERENCE). Consequently, it may lead to cardiovascular, pulmonary and mental health problems in adulthood (REFRENCE).  Children from poor backgrounds are more likely to be away from green space as they have ‘built environment’ such as bad housing condition, traffic congestion and so forth (REFERENCE).

Today the world is connected with technological gadgets and children tends to stay more in front of their computers, television, playing video games and after school hours they need to complete their homework therefore youngsters miss the contact with the natural setting, they also miss the chance for stress reduction, healthy development, physical activity and restoration (REFERENCE).

Benefits of Outdoor Recreation

Economic benefits:

Outdoor recreation economically benefits a country. For example, among all activities, bicycles are viewed as more sustainable compared to other activities and it brings over $ 81 billion into the American economy annually (Knight, 2012). Moreover, he also stated that bicycling also provide 770,000 direct jobs for people.

Social Benefits

Australian and International research stated that the notion of outdoor recreation participation is considered as an important facilitator of personal and community development. According to one Australian researcher, he said that outdoor recreation as a search for “personally meaningful involvement” (McIntyre 1992, p. 70).

Lynch and Veal (1996), assert that outdoor recreation is highly beneficial to the local communities as it promotes physical health, psycho-social well-being, self-actualization, spirituality, family bonding, child development, self-identity, social skill development and environmental education.

Social and psychological is beneficial in two ways. At first, during participation, people are more likely to experience the enjoyment with the activities that they have chosen its locality, its passion and personal satisfaction. Finally, after participation there is a change in the person’s state of mind (Shreyer & Driver 1990). For instance, there might be an increase in social responsibility through having a feeling of belonging to an outdoor recreation community and it also reduces stress.

Environmental Benefits

Those people involved in outdoor recreation tend to be more willing to preserve and conserve the environment, for example, they provide management strategies to reduce the negative environmental impacts. Participants who are motivated to help in conservation initiatives on a particular place which they love and feel attached. By doing so, this will surely establishes the environment and contributes to the environmental sustainability.

Motivation for outdoor recreation 

According to Iso-Ahola (1980), individuals are encouraged through defined objectives as well as rewards which can be either extrinsic or intrinsic.  When a particular activity is occupied in to acquire compensation, it is known as extrinsically motivated.  In contrast, intrinsically motivated is when a person is self motivated to achieve something or engaged in the activity for its own sake.  

Moreover, Iso-Ahola thinks that leisure behavior is mainly caused by intrinsic aspects which are linked to self-expression, competence as well as agreement which implies freedom of choice.  Nevertheless, recreation choice should not be regarded as unlimited.  The ability for individual to choose from a range of recreational activities cannot be compromised due to the fact that individual’s motivation to be indulged in a given outdoor recreation is projected in the selection made from various outdoor activities.

Furthermore, choice is encircled by many pitfalls such as physical capability, affordability, awareness, time restrictions and family obligations.  These limitations differ among people and the demographic, socio-economic and other groups.

Demand and Participation 

Demand is an economic term used in order to illustrate the link that exists between the quantities of a good that people will buy as well as the prices that they will have to pay.  In other words, it refers to the ability and willingness to pay for a particular product.  The elements of demands are as follows:  

1. Effective, expressed or actual demand is the actual number of participants, for instance it reflects the number of people that participate in countryside recreation. The number of people involved in such activity might be expressed per day or per year.  

2. Latent or suppressed demand refers to unfulfilled demand.  Therefore, it is where an individual’s desire to participate has not been fulfilled due to some reason.  But if the situation alters such a desire may ultimately become effective demand. However, such demand is not easy to quantify as it relies on people’s wishes and desires as well. When taking into account suppressed demand it can be emphasized that the latter gives rise to two elements namely: deferred demand and potential demand.  When reference is being made to deferred demand refers to demand that is unfulfilled due to a lack of amenities, for example, if a large number of people wish

to go to the swimming pool but the problem is that if there is no swimming available then this want will be unfulfilled and demand will be postponed until a swimming pool is provided.  In contrast, potential demand is demand that is unfulfilled simply because there is a shortage of personal resources such as income or mobility. But, if there is an improvement in terms of personal situation it can undoubtedly be fulfilled in the future.

3. Lastly it can be said that there will be people who will surely prefer not to involve in recreational activities and this is known as no demand.      

Factors affecting demand for outdoor recreation can be classified into :

> Demographic characteristics 

> Socio-economic characteristics 

> Situational characteristics 

Demographic Characteristics 

In terms of demographic characteristics there are several factors that affect the recreation preference and it includes age, sex, marital status and family diversity.  Research has shown that young male who are single are more likely to involve in outdoor recreation and even if they are married they are unwilling to have children (Booth, 1989; Genet 2001; Booth & Peebles, 1995).  These participants are really interested in their education and they inevitably want to get well paid jobs.

Socio -economic characteristics 


From an economist’s perspective, price is considered to be a key factor in determining price as customer’s decision but the price of leisure is complicated with regards to many other products.  For example, a normal product consists of a single price but while comparing it to the price of leisure activities it is different as it consists of separate elements such as the valid nature of the leisure, other price like costs of transport, parking, equipment, clothing and accommodation might be charged.   Economists stated that as leisure involves time, therefore the opportunity cost of that time in terms of its possible earning power should also be included in the list mentioned above. 

According to Gratton and Taylor (1985) he argued that the price of a product affects demand in two different ways.  First and foremost, the average cost of participation which involves all types of costs such as entrance fee, equipment and so forth might affect demand in terms of decision making to involve in the activity.  Thus, the higher the average cost, the lower the participate rate.  Secondly, marginal cost is the cost that has an impact on the frequency of participation.  For example, in association with leisure activities there may be fixed costs involved like membership fee, buying of equipment and so on. 


Income can be viewed as a feature that enables people to buy a leisure product.  Research has shown that in the second half of the nineteenth century there has been a drastic change with regards to income growth. It was then that the development of mass leisure started and simultaneously there was a constant increase of income and this has definitely an impact on growth of leisure. Affluent people have always enjoyed their leisure; therefore it can be made crystal clear as income increases people will surely have more leisure.

Situational characteristics 


Self-employed people generally have better control concerning their time plan and these people are more likely to have more leisure time. 


Car ownership has increased dramatically because the income of people has risen and cars are more affordable to buy and run.  If a person does not possess a vehicle, therefore he or she might be disadvantaged in terms of site, journey, timing and duration of the trip.  

External factors affecting demand for outdoor recreation are:

Recreational opportunity is highly dependent upon availability and accessibility of recreation sites.  Thus, the nature of recreation sites as well as availability will surely rely upon several things such as carrying capacity, ownership, distribution, quality, access and degree of development.  These reflect three important elements which consist of economic, behavioral and political.  Hence, it helps both private and public sectors in terms of good decision making with regards to recreation provision.

While making decision to visit any particular recreational sites, accessibility is considered to be a key element in influencing participation.  Moreover, how crucial it is, as an element in decision making in influencing the ‘what’ and ‘where’ of recreation involvement is explained by Chubb and Chubb (1981:153) :  ‘People participation will increase if all other external and personal factors support participants, however if the site is not accessible it might certainly be a problem.’

Recreation travel behavior 

While going to any particular site for recreation, distance is really important and for most movement, a distance-decay effect can be known so that the power of interaction diminishes as distance increases.  In this context, if a recreational site consists of greater distance and involve more effort and time, might not be supported by participants.  But, not all activities are time consuming as it relies on the types of activities that one is taking part in.  The impact of longer distances will be negative to some extent as the more a person travel, he or might be tired and found it to be unpleasant.  On the other hand, such effect may be encouraging in situation where a person is travelling by cruise.  The latter may enjoy and the longer the distance the greater the desire to extend it.

Recreation choice behavior

Forecasting of recreation behavior would have been taken into account if more was known with regards to factors influencing decision-making to attitudes, motivations and perceptions.  This would be very helpful as it would explain:

1. Why some sites and activities are suitable; 

2. Why some recreational firms are failures while others are satisfied by participants;

3. Why and how alternative recreation are ranked.

The recreation alternative process is influenced by people’s perceptions of what recreational opportunities are available.  

Natural environments as recreation settings 

Driver et al. (1987) demonstrates that natural surroundings are really crucial in attaining the preferred result from leisure. Research conducted in Colorado have shown that participants like to enjoy mostly in nature, therefore, natural environment plays an integral role in achieving the result as well as satisfaction required from involvement in certain forms of recreation. 

According to Kaplan and Kaplan (1989), participant’s satisfaction is associated with natural settings through integration mind and body in the leisure activity.  Hence, environmental aspect beyond doubt is considered to have a dominant influence on recreation behavior and this has first derived from gurus like Schreyer et al. (1985), he propose that the most helpful demonstration of the environment for the explanation of behavioral choice is considered as important.  They also stated that people are more likely to explore the natural environment location which will undoubtedly allow them to behave in the ways they wish and consequently this will enable them to achieve a desired cognitive state.  Thus, the theory that recreation experiences are closely linked to recreation location is fundamental with regards to the notion of the recreation opportunity spectrum.

Outdoor recreation constraints:

Since the past few decades, much research has been made on the constraints of outdoor recreation. Constraints are “factors that limit people’s participation in leisure activities, people’s use of leisure services, or people’s enjoyment of current activities” (Jackson & Scott, 1999). As per Crawford, Jackson and Godbey (1993), there are three major types of constraints namely intrapersonal, interpersonal and structural. Intrapersonal constraints consist of the psychological characteristics of an individual that interact with personal preferences, thus the constraints that will affect personal preferences. For example, the self-esteem that an individual has or the perceived physical skills that he/she has. As for interpersonal constraints, they are the constraints which involve the interaction and relationship among individuals. For example, access to friends or relative’s company for a particular recreation. Finally, structural constraints are those constraints that affect the participation of an individual in a particular leisure activity. Structural constraints intervene between the personal preferences of a person and that person’s participation in the recreation activity. For example, the cost of participating in a leisure activity or the problems involved with the facilities for an outdoor recreation.

Moreover as per the hierarchical model developed by Crawford, Jackson and Godbey (1993), more importance is assigned to the intrapersonal and interpersonal constraints and the structural constraints are considered as less important. This is so because people, while going through the participation decision-making process; there are constraints which will interact with motivations and preferences and thus shape the level of participation in the recreation or leisure activity. But however there are ways of negotiating through the constraints whereby people manage to participate in the recreation activities.

Among the various constraints that exist, Jackson (1993), found that time was amongst the most important constraints as well as cost. As per the other researches made, it has also been noted that lack of money, transportation, and other structural items were factors contributing to constraint (Coyle & Kinney, 1990; Kay & Jackson, 1991; Samdahl & Jekubovich, 1997; Williams & Fidgeon, 2000). As for Walker and Virden (2004), they noted that constraints on time are the strongest ones, and the ones that are the most common in the various researches made.

More recently, Jackson (2005) stressed the importance of understanding structural constraints, opining that “no constraint or type of constraint is experienced with equal intensity by everyone, although time-related and cost-related constraints rank along with the most generally and strongly experienced inhibitors of the achievement of leisure goals and a balanced lifestyle” Jackson (2005) also discussed the importance of recognizing that constraints may vary greatly across the different subgroups of the population, and across individuals.

Most of the relevant studies (Alexandris & Carroll, 1997; Jackson, 2005; Horna, 1989; Jackson & Henderson, 1995) have come to the common conclusion that women face more intense leisure constraints than men, and this result mainly from lack of time. They tend to suggest that women’s place within society, women’s roles and responsibilities, often limit women’s freedom of choice. Furthermore, lack of technical skills, private transportation and of financial resources are also experienced by women more intensely than men (Harahoussou, 1996; Harrington & Dawson, 1995).

Types of outdoor recreational activities

Recreational activities fall under different categories which are mountain activities, forest activities, beach and sea activities and some more such as fresh water activities, aero activities, desert activities, family activities and cultural and historical activities.

This is due to the fact that there are thousands of outdoor locations and different types of activities that can be done at different sites. Under each of these above mentioned categories there are different recreational activities that can be undertaken :

* Mountain activities- trekking, rock climbing, mountain biking, motorbike expedition, skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing and canyoning

* Forest activities- wildlife safari, camping, bird watching, elephant safari and tree climbing

* Beach and sea activities- snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, boat fishing, wind surfing and water sports

* Fresh water activities- angling, canoeing, white water rafting, water sports and sea kayaking

* Aero activities- gliding and ballooning

* Desert activities- camel safari and desert jeep safari

* Family activities- theme park and safari park

* Cultural and historical activities- indigenous culture, museum and metal detecting

All these activities mentioned here, cannot be practiced everywhere. It depends on the destination if it can provide for such environment. There are activities which may fall under more than one category.

Recreation Opportunity Spectrum:

A recreation opportunity as the name implies, is the choice to participate in a preferred recreation activity within a preferred setting and to enjoy the desired experience. The Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) which was developed in the United States (Clark & Stankey, 1979), is first of all a tool which is used to plan outdoor recreation so as to identify in which categories the activities fall. It is also a framework for recreational planning whereby the opportunities present for recreation are defined.

The objective is to provide diverse recreational experiences and manage them simultaneously in conjunction with other needs for land use (Yamaki and Shoji, 2004).  The recreation opportunity spectrum that considers the diversity of recreation experience (Brown 1978, Buist 1982, Clark 1979, Driver 1978) will improve the utilization plan in this respect.  For instance, in Japan, the provision of people with recreational opportunities in a natural setting will add to the conservation of the natural landscape (Yamaki and Shoji, 2004).

The recreational opportunity spectrum is important so as to be able to make provision for different types of activities in different types of settings for people with different tastes. There are three types of settings in the recreation opportunity spectrum namely: managerial, physical and social.

The ROS Inventory characterizes and represents recreation opportunities as mixes or combinations of settings and probable experience opportunities arranged along a continuum or spectrum of ROS classes. The spectrum is set out in terms of seven ROS classes as follows:

• Primitive (P); • Roaded Modified (RM);

• Semi-primitive Non-Motorized (SPNM); • Rural (R); and

• Semi-primitive Motorized (SPM); • Urban (U).

• Roaded Natural (RN);2

The classes that make up this spectrum are differentiated from each other in terms of

differing degrees or types of remoteness, naturalness and social experience as shown below.

Water and Land Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (WALROS)

The WALROS is an improvement of the Water Recreation Opportunity Spectrum which itself is sourced from the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum. The WALROS is also a tool which helps planners to make better decisions but it lays much emphasis on water resources such as reservoirs, lakes, rivers, bays, estuaries, wetlands, major springs, coastal zones, and protected marine areas.As our recreation activity was kayaking, the WALROS is more appropriate than the ROS.

The WALROS unlike the ROS has only six classes which are namely:


Semi primitive

Rural natural

Rural developed



Primitive setting: A primitive WALROS area is a large expanse of natural resources far from development and settlement. Human activity is rare and seldom. The water resources and shorelines appear natural, showing little evidence of past human use. Management relies on visitor cooperation and stewardship, and management activities often focus on resource protection, restoration, and monitoring. A sense of remoteness, wildness, solitude, and self-reliance is dominant among visitors. Visitor comforts, conveniences, and concentrations are not appropriate to a primitive setting. Examples of primitive settings are large expanses of lands and waters that are miles from development and settlement. The settings are commonly designated as wild and scenic Rivers, backcountry lakes, headwaters, marine reserves or other types of protected areas.

Semiprimitive setting: A semiprimitive WALROS area is a large expanse of natural resources that is far from any city or metropolitan area and a considerable distance from small communities or developments. Natural resources dominate the landscape. Development is minor, and human activity can merely be sensed. However, a semiprimitive setting may include evidence of human activity such as distant farming operations, powerlines, livestock, small buildings, old roadways, historic structures, and historic logging or mining. These water resources are often within large expanses of public lands and waters. Management, in the form of patrols, facilities, and signage, is seldom noticeable and the visitors are expected to have their own equipment and skills enabling navigation and enjoyment of this setting. Visitors desire a sense of tranquility and an escape from their daily routine. Facilities are rural and blend well into the setting. Resource protection is highly important. The opportunity for visitors to sense nature is widespread. Visitors sense solitude and remoteness. Examples of semiprimitive settings are large expanses of State lands and waters that are commonly designated as wild and scenic rivers.

Rural natural setting: A rural natural WALROS area is a considerable distance from metropolitan areas and communities. Natural features are predominant on the landscape, and the presence of development is occasional or infrequent. Agriculture, tourism, and outdoor recreation are often primary industries. Many rural natural areas are large enclaves of public lands and waters. Natural resources dominate the landscape. The sights, sounds, and smells of development are infrequent. Natural-looking settings border the water resources. Water controls or other structures are occasional along the shoreline. Management is occasionally noticeable in the form of patrols, facilities, signage and full services. Visitors desire a sense of tranquility and escape from their daily routine. Opportunity for visitors to sense nature is prevalent as are occasions to enjoy periods of solitude. Recreation use, diversity, socialization, concentration, sense of security, and conveniences are periodic and occasional. Examples of rural natural areas include unincorporated rural areas with secondary and unpaved roads, single residences, farms and ranches, rural county, small stores and fuel services stations, and areas bordering or surrounded by large expanses of public lands and waters.

Rural developed setting: A rural developed WALROS area is beyond a metropolitan area and the suburban ring of development. Rural developed areas may contain working farms, ranches, and towns. In this setting, primary road networks are common. Although development will be prevalent and common, the setting has a rural sense because of a scattering of forests, water resources, hills, valleys, wetlands, open spaces, and agricultural lands. Naturally appearing shoreline edges are common, although various water controls or other structures are also common. Recreation management is prevalent and common but not as extensive as in an urban setting (e.g., personnel, rules, facilities, signs, services, conveniences, security). Recreation use, diversity, socialization, concentration, sense of security, and conveniences are less common than in a developed suburban or urban setting. The sights, sounds, and smells of recreation and non-recreation use are common, yet interspersed with locations and times when the urbanized visitor may experience a sense of tranquility and escape from everyday challenges. Examples of rural developed areas include areas with country estates, second homes and cabins, dams, power stations, primary and secondary roads, communication lines, resorts, marinas, small communities, full service campgrounds, farms and small commercial and industrial establishments.

Suburban setting: A suburban WALROS area is on the fringe of the urban area. The sights of development and built structures are widespread. The built environment tends to be commercial and residential. The sights of commerce and everyday living are very obvious and prevalent. Natural-appearing settings can be found in community parks, greenways, trails, open space, natural areas and tidal marshes. The water resources tend to be highly channelized or altered to contain large fluctuations in water flow and for the protection of public safety and property. Recreation management is prevalent (e.g., personnel, rules, facilities, signs, services, conveniences, security). Recreation use, diversity, socialization, concentration, sense of security, and conveniences are also prevalent and obvious. The sights, sounds, and smells of recreation and non-recreation use (e.g., municipal, industrial, residential) are obvious but not dominant in a suburban setting. Examples of suburban WALROS areas can be found on the outer edges of most metropolitan areas in the United States and include parks, and trail systems.

Urban setting: An urban WALROS area can be found in extensively developed and populated cities and metropolitan spaces where virtually the entire landscape contains manmade structures. Municipal, industrial, commercial, and residential land uses dominate, and the sights are typical of a city environment. Natural features may be found in small neighborhood parks, commercial courtyards, streetscapes, residential gardens, or landscaping. The water resources tend to be highly channelized, manipulated, or altered to contain large fluctuations in water flow and to protect public safety and property. Management presence is common and obvious (e.g., personnel, rules, facilities, sig

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