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From experience economy to experience landscape: The example of UK trail centres

Gibbs, David; Holloway, Lewis


David Gibbs

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Professor Lewis Holloway
Professor of Human Geography, Director of Research (School of Environmental Science), Chair of the Faculty of Science and Engineering Ethics Committee


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.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 22, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 10, 2017
Publication Date 2018-06
Deposit Date Apr 4, 2022
Journal Area
Print ISSN 0004-0894
Electronic ISSN 1475-4762
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 50
Issue 2
Pages 248-255
Keywords Cco-production; Experience economy; Outdoor leisure; Rural development
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