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Profile of practice, travel behaviour and motivations for
geocaching

 

Ana Lúcia Falcão1 , António Sérgio Damásio2 and Ricardo Melo3*

 

Received: 15/06/2015 Accepted: 21/11/2016

 

1Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Coimbra Education School, Coimbra, Portugal; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
2Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Coimbra Education School, ASSERT, Coimbra, Portugal; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
3Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Coimbra Education School, ASSERT, IRNIST, Rua Dom João III, Solum, 3030-329 Coimbra, Portugal; Phone: 00351 239 793 120; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
*Corresponding author

 

Abstract
 

Geocaching is a recreational sport activity considered as a postmodern treasure hunting game. Associated with the movement to distant places, the search for new landscapes, culture and adventure, geocaching is being integrated into the tourism industry. In spite of its growth and economic significance, few studies have been developed to understand this sport tourism activity. Thus, this study was developed to understand the geocaching practice profile, geocaching travel behaviour and the motivations for the practice of geocaching, and to examine whether these variables are associated with the socio-demographic characteristics of geocachers. An online questionnaire survey was applied to geocachers living in Portugal, and 613 responses were obtained. The results show that geocaching is a recent sport activity in Portugal, whose motivations for practice are related to nature and escape, and that geocachers have a strong disposition to travel, highlighting the potential of geocaching for sport tourism. Statistical tests also revealed that socio-demographic characteristics are not associated with the geocaching practice profile and geocaching travel behaviour. However, the socio-demographic characteristics are associated with the motivations for the practice of geocaching, particularly when compared by sex, age and education level. Management and marketing implications for sport tourism operators and destinations are discussed.

 

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Keywords: geocaching, motivations, practice profile, sport tourism, travel behaviour.

 

Citation: Falcão, A., A. Damásio and R. Melo (2017) Profile of practice, travel behaviour and motivations for geocaching. European Journal of Tourism Research 16 pp. 92-107

 

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European Journal of Тourism Research