Operationalizing transformative tourism: Creating dementia-friendly outdoor and nature-based visitor experiences

Stephen J. Page, Joanne Connell, Stephan Price, Steven Owen, Katie Ledingham, Linda Clare

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A values-based approach embedded in the transformative tourism research paradigm is used to examine dementia-friendly outdoor and nature-based experiences. Interview and site audits were conducted to explore the visitor economy-nature-well-being nexus. Using thematic analysis, researchers set out to understand how organizational change can improve the visitor journey through values and actions that create an accessible visitor experience for people suffering from dementia. The findings show that while the current practice of providing events and tailored sessions for the local community is a good start, further development is needed; this paper offers selected pathways to becoming a dementia-friendly business, including the Importance of an organisational champion and an accessible site and a nature-based experience or event that appeals to a wide audience. Theoretically, this work operationalizes transformative tourism and provides a framework for future work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number23
Early online date29 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2023


  • Dementia
  • Societal challenge
  • Visitor attractions
  • Tourism practice
  • transformative tourism


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