Eudaimonic benefits of tourism: the pilgrimage experience.

M van Iwaarden, Jeroen Nawijn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes that tourism research needs to explore the potentially lasting psychological benefits of tourism by implementing a eudaimonic perspective of well-being. Consequently, this study adopted a eudaimonic approach to tourist well-being by investigating the reported psychological well-being of pilgrims and the concepts involved in the pilgrimage experience via the exploration of 74 personal narratives. Pilgrims’ self-transcendent peak experiences encompassed spiritual moments of revelation, healing and epiphany. These experiences led to spiritual growth that seems to have impacted participants’ religious spirituality, also long after their pilgrimage, which can be perceived as a potential long-term effect of the pilgrimage experience. The self-transcendent peak experience of the pilgrims can be explained via enhanced autonomy, the experience of positive relationships, achieved personal growth, a sense of purpose in and of life, their character development and a state of self-acceptance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-47
Number of pages11
JournalTourism Recreation Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Well-being
  • eudaimonia
  • pilgrimage
  • positive psychology
  • tourist experience


Dive into the research topics of 'Eudaimonic benefits of tourism: the pilgrimage experience.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this