Guided mountaineering clients in New Zealand’s Southern Alps
Carr, Anna M
Commercially guided climbers have been neglected by leisure and tourism researchers. However, several studies have concentrated on non-guided climbers and other mountain recreationists. This paper presents the results from research conducted over New Zealand’s 1997/98 summer climbing season. A questionnaire was distributed to 107 guided climbers over a six-week period. 67 usable questionnaires were returned, providing a response rate of 63%. Demographic characteristics and reasons why respondents participated in mountain climbing were gathered. Factors influencing the decision to hire a guide service and the levels of satisfaction with the guided experience were also explored. Dominant motivations for climbing were related to the aesthetic and physical enjoyment of the alpine environment, followed by intrinsic benefits, educational, psychological and physiological reasons. Motivations involving the experience of solitude, social reasons, relaxation and increased status were the least important for the majority of clients. Guides were hired primarily for reasons relating to increased safety, learning new skills and ease of organisation. Overall satisfaction with the guided experience was extremely high for reasons predominantly relating to the natural environment, intrinsic benefits, skill acquisition and enjoyment of the activity itself. The research findings indicated that guided mountaineering in the Southern Alps can provide people with a quality alpine experience, satisfying their expectations whilst fulfilling a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic needs.
Conference: Proceedings of trails, tourism and regional development, Cromwell, Otago, New Zealand
Keywords: New Zealand Mountain Guides Association; adventure; mountaineering; motivations; expectations; benefits; experiences.
Research Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Carr, A.M. (1997). "Guided Mountaineering in New Zealand's Southern Alps" in J. Higham and G.W. Kearsley (eds.), Proceedings of trails, tourism and regional development. Centre for Tourism and IGU, University of Otago at Cromwell, New Zealand, 2-5 December 1997, 23-32.