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Reis, AC & Shelton, E 2011, 'The nature of tourism studies', Tourism Analysis, vol. 16, pp. 375-384.

© Cognizant Communication Corporation.

Published version available in SCU repository with the kind permission of the publisher.

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Nature-based tourism activities are highly modulated by how Nature has been constructed in modern Western societies. The way we have come to perceive what is “other-than-human” impacts on how we engage with, and experience, a location, a place, or a tourism space that is based on/aroundthe natural world. This review discusses how this construct has been formulated by different social scientists and philosophers, and how these constructions impact on nature-based tourism experiences in contemporary societies. In this review article, Reis and Shelton argue that in order to advance and refine our understandings of nature-based tourism practices, tourism scholars need to acknowledge, or, better, explore, how the different meanings attached to “nature,” or the different “natures” constructed by societies, intervene and sometimes dictate tourism practices and experiences. Likewise, practices and experiences in tourism management/development provide an everchanging context of human–nature relationships that highlight the worldmaking agency of tourism. Here, Reis and Shelton conclude by inviting scholars in Tourism Studies/Tourism Sciences to incorporate notions of embodiment, interagentivity, and indigenous perspectives, among others, into their discussions and analysis of nature-based tourism.

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