How mindfulness training changes tourist experience: An exploratory study

Kaya S. C., SEZEREL H., Filimonau V.

JOURNAL OF HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT, vol.59, pp.166-179, 2024 (SSCI) identifier identifier


While mindfulness is receiving increasing attention in tourism literature, most studies are either conceptual or grounded in positivist paradigms that emphasize the potential benefits of mindful travel. There is limited research on mindful training programs and the experiences of tourists who have undergone such training. This study fills this gap by adopting an interpretive perspective to explore tourists who have undergone mindfulness training and now act as mindfulness facilitators in tourism. It aims to depict the role of mindfulness training programs in travel and tourism experiences. The findings show that mindfulness training interventions optimized the participants' travel expectations and cultivated a state of present-moment acceptance. The participants reported higher levels of satisfaction, reduced desire to escape from their travels, and improved decision-making regarding their travel choices. The experiences of mindful travel fostered deeper connections with nature and enhanced self-compassion, which could potentially contribute to the promotion of sustainable tourism practices. Mindfulness transformed ordinary vacations into meaningful and enriching experiences, ultimately leading to reduced post-travel stress and promoting overall well-being.