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Hiking tourism: educating hikers through the interpretation of on-site information and predicting precautionary behavior

Ursula Scholl-Grissemann (UMIT TIROL – Private University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall, Austria.)
Mike Peters (Department of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria)
Bernhard Fabian Bichler (Department of SME and Tourism, Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria)
Elisabeth Happ (Department of Sport Sciences, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 26 July 2022

Issue publication date: 27 October 2022




Hiking is a popular tourism activity across the globe. Although hiking is considered a “soft” adventure activity with little risk and challenge, hikers are also confronted with dangerous situations where risky behavior can lead to fatalities. This study aims to understand the moderating role of hiking motives on hikers’ precautionary behavior, while providing implications for destination management organizations.


This study conducted a 3×2 between-subjects online experiment (N = 181), manipulating the on-site information and visibility of potential hazards. Moderation analyses (SPSS PROCESS) were applied to derive the differences between the hiking motives of competitiveness/exhibitionism, playing to the limit and sociability on precautionary behavior.


The findings can inform effective hiking trail signage efforts, helping identify potential indications of risky behavior. The findings also importantly underline the moderating role of playing to the limit and competitiveness as they regard the risk perception–precautionary behavior relationship.


The implications of this study are directed toward destination management organizations, and how to promote precautionary hiking behavior based on hikers’ motivations.


我们进行了一个3x2的主体间在线实验(N = 181), 操纵了现场信息和潜在危险的可见性。应用调节分析(SPSS PROCESS)得出远足动机 “竞争/展示主义"、"娱乐无极限 “和 “社交能力 “在防范行为上的差异。


徒步旅行是世界各地流行的旅游活动。尽管徒步旅行被认为是一种基于户外的软性探险活动, 没有什么风险和挑战, 但徒步旅行者也面临着危险的情况, 危险的行为可能导致死亡。本研究旨在了解徒步动机对徒步者防范行为的调节作用, 并为目的地管理组织提供启示。


研究结果可以为有效的徒步旅行的标识工作提供参考, 帮助识别潜在的危险行为迹象。重要的是, 研究结果还强调了 “发挥极限 “和 “竞争 “的调节作用, 因为它们关系到风险认知和预防行为。


本研究的意义是针对目的地管理组织的, 即如何根据徒步者的动机来促进防范性的徒步行为。


El senderismo es una actividad turística popular en todo el mundo. Aunque el senderismo se considera una actividad “poco exigente”, que implica poco riesgo y retos, los senderistas también se enfrentan a situaciones peligrosas donde las conductas de riesgo pueden conducir a accidentes fatales. Este estudio tiene como objetivo comprender los roles moderadores de las motivaciones del senderismo en el comportamiento precautorio de los senderistas y proporcionar implicaciones para las organizaciones de gestión de destinos.


Se realizó un experimento en línea 3x2 entre sujetos (N = 181) tratando la información in situ y la visibilidad de los peligros potenciales. Se aplicaron análisis de moderación (PROCESO SPSS) para derivar diferencias entre las motivaciones del senderismo “competitividad/exhibicionismo”, “jugar hasta el límite” y “sociabilidad” en el comportamiento precautorio.


Los resultados reportan sobre la necesidad de realizar esfuerzos en la señalética de las rutas de senderismo que ayuden a identificar posibles indicaciones de comportamiento de riesgo. Es importante destacar que los hallazgos también subrayan el papel moderador de “jugar hasta el límite” y “competitividad”, ya que sugieren una relación entre la percepción de riesgo y el comportamiento precautorio.


Las implicaciones de este estudio se dirigen hacia las organizaciones de gestión de destinos sobre la manera de promover el comportamiento precautorio de senderismo basado en motivaciones de senderistas.



The author thank Michael Bachl for assistance with data collection and stimuli design. Author contribution: Ursula was the project coordinator. She was significantly involved in the planning and execution of the experimental study and was responsible for the data analysis. Mike Peters provided lead support for the conceptualization of the study, hypothesis development and implementation of the study. He was a key contributor to the positioning of the manuscript. Bernhard Bichler designed the theoretical part of the paper with a special focus on soft adventure tourism. He played a key role in shaping the theoretical underpinnings of the hypotheses. Elisabeth Happ contributed to the theoretical part with her expertise on hiking tourism. She played a leading role in the development of the discussion as well as the theoretical and management implications.


Scholl-Grissemann, U., Peters, M., Bichler, B.F. and Happ, E. (2022), "Hiking tourism: educating hikers through the interpretation of on-site information and predicting precautionary behavior", Tourism Review, Vol. 77 No. 6, pp. 1436-1454.



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