The secret tourism in the 21st century - a decade of geocaching in Poland

Mariusz Samołyk


People travel from the beginning of existence in search of hunting grounds, fresh water, shelter or wealth. The beginnings of tourism and travel for pleasure fall on the nineteenth century. Safari trips, conquering mountain peaks, transatlantic cruises and trips to health resorts are the beginning of tourism. In the twentieth century the decrease of the costs of car, rail and air travel intensified tourism phenomenon (mainly by the availability to the less well-off people). The concept of tourism in the twenty-first century took on a new meaning. Today there are many different activities that focus on experiencing particular sensation or impression. Surprising forms of tourism in the future will continue to surprise. New trends become more and more popular. All kinds of tourism: extreme (including adventure racing, ski-mountaineering, caving) thematic (eg. cemetery, wine, culinary tourism) and religious are based on the need of stimulation. The specific form of tourism is geocaching, which is a mobile game based on GPS location and which consists of hiding and finding containers placed anywhere. Participants create a geographically dispersed community that contact mainly via mobile technologies and Web 2.0. They spend time outdoors in search for the treasure. In geocaching it is primarily important to find containers, but also the new ways of hiding them, sharing experience and perception of the environment are promoted. Due to the nature of this form of tourism (including leaving the containers for the next treasure seekers) the participants are trying to keep their way of exploring in secret. Wishing to recognize the reasons for choosing this form of tourism and to know the profiles of geocechers, a survey of 743 users of two most popular geocaching portals in Poland was conducted


geocaching, opencaching, active tourism, GPS, social media

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