Meaningful experiences in tourism: A systematic review of psychological constructs

Authors

  • Ester Câmara Research Centre for Tourism, Sustainability, and Well-being (CinTurs), Gambelas Campus, Universidade do Algarve, Portugal, Email: a70232@ualg.pt
  • Margarida Pocinho Research Centre for Tourism, Sustainability, and Well-being (CinTurs), Gambelas Campus, Universidade do Algarve, Portugal
  • Dora Agapito Research Centre for Tourism, Sustainability, and Well-being (CinTurs), Gambelas Campus, Universidade do Algarve, Portugal
  • Saul Neves de Jesus Research Centre for Tourism, Sustainability, and Well-being (CinTurs), Gambelas Campus, Universidade do Algarve, Portugal

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.54055/ejtr.v34i.2964

Keywords:

Meaningful experiences, Positive psychology, Well-being, Mindfulness, Authenticity, Tourism

Abstract

This study explored the components of meaningful tourist experiences together with their antecedents and outcomes according to a framework of positive psychology and tourism. The theoretical rationale of this systematic literature review was chosen to clarify the synergies between these constructs, wellbeing and mindfulness to understand how tourists derive meaning from their experiences. The scientific platforms Scopus and Web of Science were selected to conduct the search for journal articles. After applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, the final sample was comprised of 70 articles. The results evidence the holistic character of meaningful experiences in tourism in terms of personal, emotional, wellbeing, relational and behavioural dimensions that enable a better conceptualisation of the construct. These experiences were significantly assessed on life satisfaction, meaning and purpose, emotions, authenticity and mindfulness. This review highlights the potential of positive psychology to maximise tourists' wellbeing through their experiences. It represents an opportunity for the tourism and hospitality industry as well as other entities to enhance tourists’ experiences, such as researchers, psychologists, resident communities and universities. Therefore, this study contributes to future research to better assess meaningful tourist experiences and to tourism companies so they can manage enhanced experiences considering the multidimensional nature of the construct from a positive psychology perspective.

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Published

2023-03-14

How to Cite

Câmara, E., Pocinho, M., Agapito, D., & Jesus, S. N. de . (2023). Meaningful experiences in tourism: A systematic review of psychological constructs. European Journal of Tourism Research, 34, 3403. https://doi.org/10.54055/ejtr.v34i.2964

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