The information, practices and views in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). © 2017 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). This paper outlines a research agenda focused on the development of “experience landscapes” for outdoor leisure practices. It uses the example of trail centres for mountain biking to highlight the importance of examining embodied experience and human–technology hybridity in understanding participation in active outdoor pursuits. We propose that such experience landscapes are being created as part of a broader shift towards an experience economy, as particular spaces are carefully and deliberately imagined and built to host specific activities and attract users. In the case of trail centres, we argue that this landscape is a co-production of actors involved in rural development, professional and volunteer “trail builders”, changing bike equipment technologies and mountain bike riders themselves. The embodied and hybrid “experience” of mountain biking is itself transformed by being practised in experience landscapes. We argue that research focusing on understanding the process of co-producing experience landscapes will lead to valuable inputs to the continuing success of both trail centres and rural development strategies.
Gibbs, D., & Holloway, L. (2018). From experience economy to experience landscape: The example of UK trail centres. Area, 50(2), 248-255. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12366