The Essential Companion
Edited by Philip L. Pearce
Tourism is often considered a vehicle for experiencing greater well-being away from usual domiciles. This chapter reviews the contemporary literature on tourist experiences and short- and long-term human well-being. Well-being in the context of tourism includes both hedonic aspects (seeking pleasure away from usual domiciles) and its eudaimonic aspects (seeking to realise one’s true self through tourism). It is shown through examples how the tourist experience has the potential to enhance both types of well-being. Models of tourist well-being are considered in the chapter. These models include the bottom-up spillover model, which conceptualises the relationship between tourist experience and one’s overall satisfaction with life, and the PERMA model that identifies underlying dimensions of tourist well-being: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and achievement. The chapter also explains how well-being can be restored and enhanced in tourism settings and contexts. The role of socialisation in tourist experiences is highlighted, as well as the power of savouring in tourism contexts. Self-development tourist activities that can enhance tourist’s eudaimonic well-being are also identified and analysed. The chapter concludes by suggesting potential future research avenues. The lack of studies into the nature, intensity and durability of eudaimonic tourist experiences is highlighted as a key research gap on the topic of tourism and well-being.
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