|dc.description.abstract||Tourism and travel play a significant role in helping people prioritize their physical, social and psychological well-being in their lives. By providing people with a time to disconnect from the stress and hassle of work and daily responsibilities at home, tourism and travel allows tourists to experience two types of well-being. Firstly, hedonic well-being through short-term extreme happiness and pleasure and, secondly, eudaimonic well-being which focuses on personal growth and human development. Therefore, well-being (both hedonic and eudaimonic) is a desired feature which is beneficial to tourists themselves. Well-being outcomes also play a significant role in the tourism industry as tourist well-being outcomes can influence destination attachment. Destination attachment is significant in tourism marketing as it influences revisit intentions and destination loyalty. However, despite the importance of well-being to tourists themselves, and the potential of well-being as a tourism product resource, there are specific gaps in existing literature. Firstly, empirical research still lack theoretical foundations to support the relationship between holidays and well-being. Secondly, the literature on how different tourist experiences influences hedonic or eudaimonic well-being remains unconsolidated. Finally, there are minimal studies, which examine how well-being can be utilised by the tourism industry as a marketing tool.
This thesis draws on the top-down and bottom-up theories of well-being and the place attachment theory to investigate the effects of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being in tourism and whether well-being, as a tourism product resource can support the sustainability of the tourism industry by enhancing behavioural intentions and destination attachment. The top-down and bottom-up theories of well-being (Diener, 1984) were originally developed in positive psychology and argue that well-being is influenced either by a person’s internal disposition (top-down) or through external events and circumstances (bottom-up). These theories have not been widely applied in tourist well-being research and, current, existing research largely supports a bottom-up approach whereby tourist experiences influences tourist well-being. This study extends this understanding by further investigating the significance of the top-down approach in influencing well-being within a tourism context. Place attachment theory (Hidalgo & Hernandez, 2001) was first developed in environmental psychology and previous studies have commonly applied place attachment theory to examine how destination image and tourist satisfaction influences attachment. This study extends this understanding by examining how well-being plays a role in destination attachment. To answer the overall aim of this thesis, three research questions were formulated to support the theoretical foundation and guide the overall direction of the research.
This thesis is framed within a positivist paradigm and employed quantitative research methods. The first phase of the study included a systematic quantitative literature review to identify the relationship between tourist well-being, tourism and hospitality and marketing management. The systematic quantitative literature review was significant as it informed and guided the empirical investigation in the second phase of this study. The empirical investigation involved the collection of data from 430 recent travellers and examined aspects of their trip in relation to their goals, memorable tourism experience (MTE), well-being, behavioural intentions and destination attachment.
This thesis is presented as a series of published and yet to be published papers in order to provide direct evidence that the current work is of a publishable standard. This PhD format was also selected for the mentoring and experience gained through the exposure to the peer-review process and the efficiency to increase publications during candidature. Therefore, the results of this thesis are presented in three separate papers, which form the core chapters of this thesis. Two papers have been published, and one is currently under review with A ranked journals in the ABDC listing. ABDC listing refers to the Australian Business Deans Council Journal Quality List, which is a widely recognised journal-ranking list in Australia. Paper one presents the results from the systematic quantitative review of 82 peer-reviewed articles in English-language tourism and hospitality academic journals to examine the current state of research between the intersection of positive psychology and tourist well-being studies. This review indicated an evident need to link tourist well-being to tourism and hospitality marketing and management. By mapping what is known in the intersection between positive psychology and tourist well-being, this paper identified existing gaps and future opportunities for research in this growing area of interest. This paper also presented a conceptual framework on the antecedents, episodes and consequences of tourist well-being. This framework provided a better understanding of how tourist well-being is triggered in the context of tourism and hospitality, which have significant implications for marketing and management.
Paper two presents the results from the first empirical enquiry which tested a proposed model which was underpinned by the top-down, bottom-up theories of well-being, and examined the relationship between goals, MTE and well-being on behavioural intentions. The results showed that the top-down approach significantly influenced well-being (through goals) in comparison to the bottom-up approach (through MTEs). Hedonic well-being also had a significant effect on behavioural intentions (revisit intention and positive word-of-mouth) in comparison to eudaimonic well-being. Therefore, the findings suggest that although eudaimonic well-being does not directly influence revisit intentions and positive word-of-mouth, it may be triggered through hedonic well-being. Paper three presents the results from the second empirical enquiry which was underpinned by place attachment theory and examined the relationship between MTE, well-being and place attachment. Visit frequency was included as a moderating variable. The results showed that both hedonic and eudaimonic well-being influences destination attachment as tourists develop an attachment to a destination when their experience is memorable, satisfying and enhances their purpose and meaning in life. This thesis makes both theoretical and practical contributions, which are reflected in each of the three papers. Theoretically, paper one contributes to existing knowledge in the intersection between positive psychology and tourist well-being studies through a conceptual framework, which maps the current state of knowledge and areas for future research between positive psychology, and tourist well-being studies. Paper two contributes to three bodies of knowledge. Firstly, to well-being research by providing insights into its antecedents (goals) and construct operationalization (well-being) from a positive psychology perspective. Secondly, to tourism research by emphasizing the significant role of the top-down theory of well-being in comparison to the bottom-up theory of well-being. Thirdly, to the positive psychology literature by tapping into tourism market segmentation research. Paper three contributes to the destination loyalty literature by examining the determinants of place attachment beyond destination image and tourist satisfaction. This paper also enhances the positive psychology literature by emphasizing the importance of well-being on place attachment. Overall, this thesis presents empirical evidence to support the application of positive psychological theories, principles and concepts to tourist well-being studies. Practically, this thesis contributes to managerial implications by recommending that tourist marketers’ segment travellers based on their travel goals, which can effectively enhance well-being. Specifically, general tourist satisfaction questionnaires could be expanded to include measurement of emotions and self-development categories such as personal growth. This would allow tourism and hospitality managers to re-design services to accommodate travellers’ goals, which are ultimately linked to well-being. It is critical to nurture happy tourists, not only for the well-being benefits to tourists themselves, but also for the economic benefits for tourism destinations in terms of revisit intentions and positive WOM.||