A1 Journal article (refereed)
Conceptualizing nature-based science tourism : a case study of Seili Island, Finland (2023)

Räikkönen, J., Grénman, M., Rouhiainen, H., Honkanen, A., & Sääksjärvi, I. E. (2023). Conceptualizing nature-based science tourism : a case study of Seili Island, Finland. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 31(5), 1214-1232. https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2021.1948553

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Räikkönen, Juulia; Grénman, Miia; Rouhiainen, Henna; Honkanen, Antti; Sääksjärvi, Ilari E.

Journal or series: Journal of Sustainable Tourism

ISSN: 0966-9582

eISSN: 1747-7646

Publication year: 2023

Publication date: 13/07/2021

Volume: 31

Issue number: 5

Pages range: 1214-1232

Publisher: Routledge

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2021.1948553

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/77140

Additional information: Special Issue: Sustainability Dimensions of Wildlife Tourism: Welfare, conservation, practices, and impacts


Nature-based tourism has been widely addressed, yet research on nature-based science tourism, founded on science, scientific knowledge, and/or engagement in scientific research, is still scarce. Drawing on tourist motivation, nature-based tourism, special interest tourism, and science tourism, a novel theoretical conceptualization of nature-based science tourism was developed. The framework identified three categories of science tourism with intensifying levels of tourists’ interest in scientific knowledge and tourist engagement: tourism based on scientific knowledge, tourism with scientific adventure or volunteering, and scientific research tourism. In the empirical part, the framework was applied to Seili Island, Finland, and tourist motivation to nature-based science tourism was examined through a survey (n = 518). According to the results, tourists were interested in science and nature-based science tourism products, especially guided tours involving scientific interpretation, but also in intensive scientific excursions. Learning was a dominant motivation, but enjoying nature and escape and relaxation were also significant. When moving from guided tours to more intensive scientific excursions, motivations diversified; besides learning, other tourist motivations also need to be addressed in developing nature-based science tourism experiences. The study contributes to nature-based tourism and underresearched science tourism literature and provides practical implications for developing nature-based tourism.

Keywords: tourism; nature tourism; sustainable tourism; science education; tourist destinations; tourists and travellers; motivation (mental objects); customer experience

Free keywords: nature-based tourism; wildlife tourism; nature-based science tourism; science tourism; tourist motivation; tourism experience

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2023-05-09 at 10:14