The rush of conquering Mother Nature’s most rugged terrain is what’s driving adventure tourism in some of the world’s unique environments.
But creating an adventure isn’t something that can be taught within the four walls of a classroom. That’s why Brumby McLeod’s adventure tourism class, which launched in 2016, spends a week each spring semester at Banff National Park in Canada, ice climbing, caving, dog sledding and skiing. The goal is to learn firsthand about tourism opportunities in mountain resorts.
“This class is for those who like to explore,” says McLeod, an associate professor of hospitality and tourism management. “And you’ve got to be comfortable with risk because that’s part of the adrenaline rush that comes with adventure tourism.”
For the trip, students are divided into three groups focusing on culinary, logistics and digital media. The culinary team plans all of the dining experiences. The logistics team tackles everything from transportation to travel planning to budgeting. And the digital media crew maps out how to document the trip with the goal of marketing through storytelling. Then the class treks out into the frozen Canadian Rockies. And McLeod is right there with his students. Just don’t expect him to go spelunking.
“I’m not a terribly adventurous person,” he says with a laugh. “I don’t spend my weekends rock climbing. I just enjoy nature.”