Wellness Tourism: An  Article Selection

We are pleased to present the following article selection  on Wellness Tourism, created in collaboration with Margaret Deery,  Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, and Sebastian Filep, an  Editorial Board member.

There are 5 sections, each with its  own informative introduction written especially to help guide  you through the research in this exciting field:

  1. The relationship between tourism and  well-being
  2. Spa and beauty tourism
  3. The  environment, ecology and adventure tourism
  4. Tourism and spirituality
  5. Personal and Family Growth

Read on to discover great articles and gaininsights into what Wellness Tourism is and the fascinating developments in thisgrowing subject area.

What is  Wellness Tourism?

Happiness, wellbeing, relaxation, and rejuvenation are among the many concepts associated with tourism and more recently have become the focus for a number of tourism researchers. This overview of the research area by  Smith, Deery and Puzcko illustrates the range of perspectives taken on this topic. Wellness Tourism: An Article Selection continues the review of trends in this area.

The concept of well-being, for example, especially the subjective well-being of those who travel, has recently received empirical attention in tourism studies (Nawijn, 2011). Subjective well –being (SWB) has been defined as “a broad category of phenomena that includes people’s emotional          responses, domain satisfactions and global judgments of life satisfaction” (Diener, Suh, Lucas and Smith, 1999, p. 277). High SWB hence consists of the mix of three factors: the relative absence of anxiety and depression, frequent and intense positive affective states, and global life satisfaction          (Diener et al., 1999). Subjective well-being, sometimes referred to as happiness, is mostly, if not entirely, a conscious state of mind (Veenhoven, 2000), and as such it can be examined empirically.

The term ‘Wellness Tourism’ covers a number of sub-themes, many of which are discussed in this article selection. Read the introductions to each section for more information on the sub-themes and the articles included in them.


Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E. & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three
decades of progress. Psychological  Bulletin, 125: 276-302.

Nawijn, J. (2011). Determinants of Daily Happiness on Vacation. Journal of Travel Research, 50(5): 559-566.

Smith, M., Deery, M., & Puzko, L. (2010). The role of health, wellness and tourism for destination development [Special section]. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 17, 94–95. DOI 10.1375/jhtm.17.1.94

Margaret Deery  Sebastian Filep 

Margaret Deery, PhD; University of Surrey, UK, Leeds Beckett University, UK and Curtin University, Australia. Editor-in-Chief of Journal of  Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Sebastian  Filep, PhD; University of Otago and Victoria University, Melbourne. Editorial Board member of Journal of  Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Want to see your research here? Explore our hospitality, sport, andtourism management journals to find the perfect home for your research. 98%of authors who published in the tourism portfolio in 2014 said they were verysatisfied with the journal they published in, and 98% said they planned tosubmit to the journal again.* Simply pick a journal, visit thejournal website, and select ‘submit your paper’.

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* Elsevier Author Feedback Survey Results 2014

The relationship  between tourism and well-being

Empirical  investigations of this topic in tourism studies are important for various  stakeholders, including the tourists themselves. Read an introduction to the topic and the articles below,  written by Sebastian Filep.

A 21st-Century  Approach to Health Tourism Spas: The Case of Portugal
Nuno  Silva Gustavo

The happiness factor in tourism:  subjective well-being and social tourism
Scott McCabe, Sarah  Johnson

Vacation and well-being: a study of  Chinese tourists
Yi Chen , Xinran Y.  Lehto, Liping Cai

Spa  and beauty tourism

While the  academic focus on spa tourism is relatively recent, the use of spa therapy for  health and wellbeing dates back to Roman times. The spa and beauty components  of wellness tourism is emerging quickly as a new area for the tourism industry.  Find out more in the  introduction to this section, written by Margaret Deery.

Essential customer service factors and  the segmentation of older visitors within wellness tourism based on hot springs  hotels
Kaung-Hwa Chen,  Hsiou-Hsiang Liu, Feng-Hsiang Chang

Website  Effectiveness in Wellness Promotion By Portuguese SpasVeronika  Joukes, Chris Gerry

The effect of atmospheric cues and  involvement on pleasure and relaxation: The spa hotel context
Sandra Maria Correia Loureiro, Marta Almeida, Paulo Rita

Measuring spa-goers’ preferences: A  conjoint analysis approach
Deniz Kucukusta, Basak Denizci Guillet

The environment, ecology and  adventure tourism

The impact of nature on wellbeing is an area that has been extensively  examined and the articles in this group explore the particular relationship  that tourism products and activities have on the sense of wellbeing. Read on for more information on  the topic and selected articles, written by Margaret Deery.

Rural Wellbeing Tourism: Motivations  and Expectations
Juho  Pesonen, Raija Komppula

Developing a forest-based wellbeing  tourism product together with customers – An ethnographic approach
Henna Konu

Happiness and nature-based vacations
Salvatore Bimonte,  Valeria Faralla

An exploration of tourist motivation  in rural settings: The case of Troodos, Cyprus
Anna Farmaki

Validating a customer well-being index  related to natural wildlife tourism
Dong-Jin Lee, Stefan  Kruger, Mee-Jin Whang, Muzaffer Uysal, M. Joseph Sirgy

Therapeutic landscapes: An evolving  theme
W. Gesler

Therapeutic  mobilities: walking and ‘steps’ to wellbeing and health
Anthony C.  Gatrell

Performing  health in place: The holy well as a therapeutic assemblage
Ronan Foley

Onsen (hot  springs) in Japan—Transforming terrain into healing landscapes
Mihaela Serbulea,  Unnikrishnan Payyappallimana

Lourdes:  healing in a place of pilgrimage
Wil Gesler

Tourism and spirituality

Spirituality in tourism is an  increasingly important topic of interest to scholars. For managers and workers in the  tourism sector, this type of research helps in better understanding visitor  motivation and satisfaction, while at a broader level, the theme of  spirituality plays a role in destination and product development. Find out  more in this introduction to the topic and the articles below, written by  Sebastian Filep.

Byron Bay: An  Alternate Health and Wellness Destination
Meredith  Wray, Jennifer Laing, Cornelia Voigt

Analysing  Wellness Tourism Provision: A Retreat Operators' Study
Catherine  Kelly

Tourism and spirituality: a  phenomenological analysis
Gregory B. Willson,  Alison J. McIntosh, Anne. L. Zahra

Motivations of volunteer overseas and  what have we learned – The experience of Taiwanese students
Tze-Jen Pan

Spiritual attitudes and visitor  motivations at the Beltane Fire Festival, Edinburgh
Catherine M. Matheson, Russell Rimmer, Ross Tinsley

Volunteer tourism: A review
Stephen Wearing, Nancy  Gard McGehee

Rural tourism: A spiritual experience?
Richard Sharpley, Deborah Jepson

Personal and Family  Growth

The concept of  wellness tourism impacts, of course, on all tourists and the role that family  members have in travel decision making is linked with the impact that this has  on health issues.

Travel by families with children  possessing disabilities: Motives and activities
Songee Kim, Xinran Y.  Lehto

Understanding leisure travel  motivations of travelers with acquired mobility impairments
Lei Shi, Shu Cole, H.  Charles Chancellor

Special thanks to  Margaret Deery  and Sebastian Filep of Journal of  Hospitality and Tourism Managementfor their  time and effort in helping to make this special article selection. Read the  articles on Wellness Tourism from the journal, listed below, and consider submitting your research to the Journal  of Hospitality and Tourism Management today!

Byron Bay: An  Alternate Health and Wellness Destination
Meredith Wray, Jennifer  Laing, Cornelia Voigt

Website  Effectiveness in Wellness Promotion By Portuguese Spas
Veronika Joukes, Chris  Gerry

Analysing  Wellness Tourism Provision: A Retreat Operators' Study
Catherine Kelly

The Role of  Health, Wellness and Tourism for Destination Development
Melanie Smith, Margaret  Deery, Laszlo Puzko

One Country's  Transformation to Spa Destination: The Case of Canada
Marion Joppe

Predictors of  Tourists' Wellbeing Holiday Intentions in Finland
Henna Konu, Tommi  Laukkanen

Rural Wellbeing  Tourism: Motivations and Expectations
Juho Pesonen, Raija  Komppula

A 21st-Century  Approach to Health Tourism Spas: The Case of Portugal
Nuno Silva Gustavo