Moving beyond subjective well-being: a tourism critique

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Filep, Sebastian (2012) Moving beyond subjective well-being: a tourism critique. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research. ISSN 1096-3480 (print) 1557-7554 (online) (Submitted)


Tourism research on topics such as happiness, quality of life of tourists, and tourist well-being has flourished in recent years. This literature clarifies the subjective value of tourist experiences, provides new directions for tourism branding and promotion, and opens doors to fresh research on the potential benefits of tourist experiences to mental health. Subjective well-being theory has been typically used by tourism researchers to help conceptualize and measure tourist happiness. In lay terms, this theory suggests that happiness is life satisfaction and pleasure; the theory is popular and useful but cannot explain tourist happiness. To craft a more complete picture of tourist happiness, a deeper qualitative appreciation of meaningful tourist experiences and special and engaging tourist moments is required. This brief critique highlights the problems of conceptualizing tourist happiness and suggests an alternative approach to the subjective well-being theory.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1177/1096348012436609
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1506 Tourism
Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Business
Keywords ResPubID26452, emotions, psychology, tourism behaviour, tourists, marketing, satisfaction
Citations in Scopus 103 - View on Scopus
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