The impact of tourist and travel activities on facets of psychological well-being : research article

  • Sonja Steyn
  • Melville Saayman
  • Alida Nienaber
Keywords: Tourism, Tourist and travel activity, Psychological well-being, Happiness


Tourism is a fast growing industry based on the facilitating of unique, positive experiences for tourists. A fundamental perception, which is that going on holiday will enable people to satisfy their needs to rest and relax, exists. In a literature analysis it was determined that there is a definite link between leisure activities and improved psychological well-being, but the relationship between specific tourist and travel activities and improved psychological well-being has not yet been researched. There is also evidence that the holiday experience may not always foster happiness, satisfaction and relaxation, causing what is commonly known as the 'holiday syndrome'. One of the outcomes of this research showed that up to 30% of the people going on pre-organised tours experienced a clear non-positive impact (not affected or negative impact) on their psychological well-being. Due to the importance of knowing why there are a significant number of tourists who return home feeling unaffected or worse after the holiday tours, possible reasons for the decrease in their well-being were explored. Main stress factors on the tours were identified as too tight time schedules, too little personal time and too much driving.

Keywords: Tourism, Tourist and travel activity, Psychological well-being, Happiness

South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation Vol.26(1) 2004: 97-106

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069