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Wild horse-based tourism as wildlife tourism: the wild horse as the other

Notzke, Claudia

Current issues in tourism -- Routledge -- Volume: 19 12; (pages 1235-1259) -- 2016

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  • Title:
    Wild horse-based tourism as wildlife tourism: the wild horse as the other
  • Author: Notzke, Claudia
  • Found In: Current issues in tourism. Volume 19:Number 12(2016); 20161014; 1235-1259
  • Journal Title: Current issues in tourism
  • Subjects: Tourism Social aspects; Tourism Environmental aspects; Travel; LCSH: Tourism Social aspects; LCSH: Tourism Environmental aspects; LCSH: Travel; Dewey: 338.479105
  • Rights: Licensed
  • Publication Details: Routledge
  • Abstract:

    Wild horses as the focus of tourism occupy a unique position. This is a consequence of their ambiguous status in the natural and cultural landscape, particularly in North America. Wild horses are ecological agents, cultural icons, economic factors and political pawns. The complexity of their management environment has an impact on the tourism and recreational context. Focusing on the western US and western Canada, this article explores a conceptual framework for wild horse-based tourism and highlights unique characteristics of the encounter between wild horses and visitors, drawing on literature and empirical data. It positions wild horse-based tourism within a framework of wildlife tourism and introduces the wild horse as a charismatic animal which elicits strong reactions from visitors who encounter it. While visitors tend to embrace the wild horse as an integral part of its habitat, as a symbol of the western frontier, and an embodiment of freedom, the animal remains an extremely polarising subject in the management debate of public lands in the USA and Canada. The wild horse's beleaguered status in both countries seriously interferes with the realisation of the true potential of wild horse-based tourism. On the other hand, wild horse supporters pin high hopes on this industry's transformative power.


  • Identifier: Journal ISSN: 1368-3500
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): ELD Digital store
    3499.078450
  • UIN: ETOCvdc_100033341364.0x000001

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