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Exploring mindfulness and stories in tourist experiences

Gianna Moscardo (James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework for understanding tourist experiences based on concepts from evolutionary, cognitive and social psychology. This framework integrates concepts from mindfulness theory and story-telling theory and seeks to better explain the nature of tourist experiences.


The paper reviews some core conceptual approaches to understanding the concept of experience as a psychological driver in tourism. It will then set a series of research questions and explore some of these through a qualitative analysis of tourist stories and experiences in two South African destinations – Kruger National Park and Soweto. This analysis combines participant observation, content analysis of promotional literature and tourist blogs.


Evidence supports a set of propositions derived from integrating mindfulness and storytelling theory. Stories do play a significant role in encouraging mindful visitors and supporting more positive tourist experiences.


This paper combines two different approaches to understanding tourist experiences to create a new framework for understanding the cognitive processes involved in tourist experiences and how these link to outcomes.



Moscardo, G. (2017), "Exploring mindfulness and stories in tourist experiences", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 111-124.



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