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Tourism development and the backpacker market in Highland Scotland.

Hindle, Natalie; Martin, Andrew; Nash, Robert


Natalie Hindle

Andrew Martin

Robert Nash


Backpacking is an emerging market within the tourism sector. Despite its growth limited research has been conducted in Scotland, or even Europe, in relation to this form of travel. Qualitative data were gathered utilising a combination of interviews and focus groups to help achieve the aim of understanding backpackers motivations for visiting Scotland. It emerged that the primary push factors were escape and knowledge seeking. Both of which can be related to the optimal arousal theory; those seeking escape as experiencing over stimulation in their normal lives, and those who were seeking knowledge as experiencing under stimulation. Pull factors for visiting Scotland included: Scotlands scenery, positive word of mouth recommendations, geographic location, genealogy, the English language, job opportunities, outdoor activities and tangible aspects including cultural and natural features. Results suggest that the backpacker market is highly heterogeneous regarding motivations and there is a necessity for more research in this area so that backpackers needs are fulfilled which will help facilitate destination loyalty.


HINDLE, N., MARTIN, A. and NASH, R. 2015. Tourism development and the backpacker market in Highland Scotland. Tourism and hospitality research [online], 15(3), pages 178-192. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 2, 2015
Online Publication Date Apr 2, 2015
Publication Date Jul 1, 2015
Deposit Date Aug 17, 2015
Publicly Available Date Aug 17, 2015
Journal Tourism and hospitality research
Print ISSN 1467-3584
Electronic ISSN 1742-9692
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 3
Pages 178-192
Keywords Backpackers; Travel motivation; Destination development; Scotland; Flashpackers
Public URL


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