How was it for you? Assessing the quality of the adventure experience
Introduction What makes an adventure good or even outstanding? This is more than an academic question for companies seeking to optimise their offerings and provide tourists with the best possible experience. Unfortunately, much of the adventure experience is about thrills, excitement, rush (Buckley 2012) or flow (Csikszentmihalyi 1990) – in other words, subjective states of mind largely influenced by individual skills and personality (Wu and Liang 2011). They are only to a very limited extent under the control of the adventure providers and destinations. Nevertheless, the quality of the service also has a big impact on the overall quality of the experience. This chapter explores different ways of measuring service quality, especially in tourism; it then takes a closer look at previous applications in the adventure industry and the most important conclusions from them. In the third section, the results of a research project on the quality of soft adventure in the Irish South-West are presented.