Recently, tourism scholars have recognized that travel can create transformation, including (1) personal benefits such as improved wellbeing and personal growth and (2) societal benefits such as increased open-mindedness and more positive pro-environmental attitudes, motivations, and behaviors. Expanding and integrating this research, this experimental study tests whether travel experiences, with eudaimonic elements of self-discovery and a sense of meaning, lead to these benefits and tests a proposed process where these experiences influence personal changes that subsequently create societal benefits. Specifically, using an online MTurk sample (n = 481) with a broad range of recent vacation experiences, we test whether (1) post-trip self-reflection on eudaimonic travel experiences (2) creates affective responses (3) that lead to self-transcendent changes and (4) subsequent post-trip philanthropy among recent travelers. Results of structural equation modeling indicate that philanthropic effects of travel were initiated by the eudaimonic self-reflections via eudaimonic affect and self-transcendent outcomes. This study contributes to the research linking eudaimonia and travel and provides insights into the ways that the travel industry can be harnessed as a potent tool for promoting personal meaning, self-transcendence, and prosocial outcomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation