Climbing the virtual mountain: A netnography of the sharing and collecting behaviours of online Munro-bagging

David Brown, Sharon Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, we explore how Munro-baggers share and collect information, experiences, and identity in online spaces and the potential influence exerted by this emerging phenomenon upon Scottish Highlands adventure tourism. The 282 Munros are Scottish mountains at least 3,000 feet (914.4 m) high. Several thousand Munro-baggers are attempting to climb each and become ‘Munroists’. The pastime appears to be growing, encouraged by Electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM) within digital communities. It is in transformation, as much of the interaction between enthusiasts, and much of the visibility of the pastime, is migrating from offline to online spaces, but it is also transformative inasmuch as it changes the manner in which potential tourists perceive the Highlands, and the contexts in which they understand them. The economic contribution of Munro-baggers to Scotland is significant, and they convey the Highland ‘brand’ to other tourists. However, most Munro-bagging literature is tangential, barely exploring the influence of community, sharing and collecting behaviours, social media, and eWOM upon ‘imaginative travel’ (Urry, 2002, p. 256). This chapter utilises theory on collecting and sharing and heeds recent calls for netnography (Mkono & Markwell, 2014) – the study of online communities – to contemporise understanding of adventure tourist interactions and consider implications for tourism marketing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmerging Transformations in Tourism and Hospitality
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781003105930
ISBN (Print)9780367616625
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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