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Title: McDonaldization and commercial outdoor recreation and tourism in Alaska

Author: Zegre, Sera J.; Needham, Mark D.; Kruger, Linda E. Ph.D.; Rosenberger, Randall S.;

Date: 2012

Source: Managing Leisure. 17: 333–348

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: This article uses perceptions of commercial tour operators in Juneau, Alaska, to examine the extent to which the commercial outdoor recreation and tourism industry in this area reflects principles of McDonaldization—efficiency, calculability, predictability and control. Data from interviews with 23 operators suggest that this industry in Juneau illustrates these principles. The large-scale nature of this industry in the Juneau area necessitates elements of McDonaldization with examples such as the efficiency of short and packaged activities, the predictability of activities with certainty, the calculability of tour timeframes, and the control that the cruise industry exerts over commercial activities through contracts with tour operators. In contrast, evidence of customization and flexibility occurred alongside examples of McDonaldization, such as independent booking and customizable tours and interpretation. Implications of McDonaldization include increased number and diversity of visitors, as well as more outdoor activities characterized by improved accessibility, decreased duration, and increased certainty. Implications for theory, society, the environment, and visitor experiences are discussed.

Keywords: McDonaldization, outdoor recreation and tourism, commercial operators, cruise industry

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Zegre, Sera J.; Needham, Mark D.; Kruger, Linda E.; Rosenberger, Randall S. 2012. McDonaldization and commercial outdoor recreation and tourism in Alaska. Managing Leisure. 17: 333–348.


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