Experiencing Tourism: Experiencing Happiness?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter discusses if and how experiencing tourism contributes to tourists’ happiness. First, we discuss the different conceptualizations of experience and happiness. In doing so, we also acknowledge current assumptions that exist in tourism studies, specifically regarding the interpretation of concepts. Consequently, we create a framework that functions as a conceptual model, which allows us to map different conceptual approaches to experience and happiness. Next, we map and discuss the 2018 studies on the tourist experience of happiness as published in the three leading tourism journals. We find that many happiness research areas are well-studied and conceptualized. We conclude that studies on locals’ happiness are still scarce, and we observe that a lack of clarity and consistency in the differences between meaning in life versus meaning of life exists. Consequently, we suggest that researchers should focus more on local’s happiness and to use theory-driven approaches to the conceptualization of meaning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge handbook of the tourist experience
EditorsR Sharpley
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781003219866
ISBN (Print)9781032114255, 9781032114279
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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