Tourism, wellness and feeling good: reviewing and studying Asian spa experiences

Panchal, Jenny (2014) Tourism, wellness and feeling good: reviewing and studying Asian spa experiences. In: Pearce, Philip, and Filep, Sebastian, (eds.) Tourist Experience and Fulfilment: insights from positive psychology. Routledge Advances in Tourism (31). Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, UK, pp. 72-87.

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[Extract] Recent developments in assessing human well-being in general provide some new pathways for understanding the Asian spa experience. Much of this work is implicitly covered by the label positive psychology, which is recognised as a new field of study that focuses on human thriving. Following Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000), Pearce (2007) defines positive psychology as a 'scientific study of positive emotions, character strengths and positive institutions concerned with human happiness and well-being' (p. 3). This definition suggests that positive psychology is not just about the individual, but also about communities, institutions, organisations and industries. It is therefore surprising that the relationship between tourism and human thriving remains under-researched (Smith and Kelly, 2006; Gilbert and Abdullah, 2002, 2003; Hunter-Jones and Blackburn, 2007).

The concept of wellness is an indispensable concept in the study of both tourism and positive psychology. Wellness is one of the facets of positive psychology that has received attention recently. Although the wellness-tourism interface has a long heritage (e.g. ancient pilgrimages, travels for health and wellness during the ancient Roman and Greek times), recent studies and the arguable pioneering literature on wellness tourism (for example the wellness issue of Tourism Recreation Research, 2006) tend to approach the topic as an exposition of an ostensibly brand new form of tourism. This chapter seeks to review and study spa tourism and interpret the scheme for spa-goers through the lens of positive psychology.

Item ID: 30603
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-415-80986-3
Keywords: positive psychology, Asian spa, tourist behaviour, tourist experiences, wellness tourism
Funders: School of Business, Faculty of Business, Law & the Creative Arts, James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2015 05:56
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience @ 70%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1799 Other Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900399 Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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