Generation Y and protected areas: A scoping study of research, theory, and future directions

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Weiler, B, Martin, VY, Canosa, A & Cutter-Mackenzie, A 2018, 'Generation Y and protected areas: A scoping study of research, theory, and future directions', Journal of Leisure Research, vol. 49, n o. 3-5, pp. 277-297.

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Over the past two decades, there has been anecdotal reporting of declines in young people’s engagement with natural environments. This article focuses on Generation Y, also commonly referred to as the Millennials. Through a scoping study of published research to 2017, we explore how Generation Y experiences, views, and is influenced by natural areas of high conservation value. A key finding is that the body of empirical and theoretical research that has examined Generation Y’s engagement with national parks and protected areas is very small. Four distinct topic areas emerged: “generational differences,” “outdoor recreation and well-being,” “environmental responsibility,” and “visitor trends.” Findings suggest that Generation Y may differ from other generations, including how they value wellbeing and their perceptions of environmental responsibility. The article explores the implications for how protected area agencies promote, create, and manage experiences.

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