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Tourism towards healthy lives and well-being for older adults and senior citizens: tourism agenda 2030

Ian Patterson (Department of Tourism Management, Silk Road International University of Tourism and Cultural Heritage, Samarkand, Uzbekistan)
Adela Balderas-Cejudo (ESIC University, Madrid, Spain; Department of Management, Deusto Business School, University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain; and Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 8 December 2022




The purpose of this study is to provide a comprehensive review of the contribution of tourism to the development of healthy lives and to promote feelings of well-being for older adults. This is related to the 2030 agenda sustainable development goal (SDG) 3 to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”.


This paper is presented as a conceptual review that will bridge the research gap between tourism and demography and will focus on travel for older tourists that supports a healthy lifestyle and helps to develop positive feelings of well-being.


The aging population and changing demographic structure will present both possibilities and difficulties for the economy, services and society. Developing innovative ways to assist people to remain active as they age is important, as well as providing measures to combat loneliness is paramount. Tourism and travel can play a significant role to achieve this SDG.

Research limitations/implications

A theoretical framework was developed to acknowledge the four contributions (from a physical, psychological [or intellectual], social and spiritual perspective), organizing the findings into a holistic model of health and wellness, which helped to delineate the research. There is a need for a deeper comprehension of a strategy to promote the benefits of leisure travelling that are linked to active ageing and well-being.

Practical implications

Destination Marketing Organizations and Tourism marketers need to carefully consider the challenges and implications and identify the key drivers that will be vital to propose strategic solutions and innovations to meet the future demands and expectations of older people in an ageing society. Destination management organizations need to promote and plan “memorable experiences” for older tourists that emphasize the physical health benefits, especially if it is feasible in a natural setting.

Social implications

Social experiences are essential in older people’s lives that can help them avoid feelings of depression and isolation. The transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs identify key drivers to propose strategic solutions and innovations to meet the future demands and expectations of older people in an ageing society.


This study provides a qualitative overview of extant literature, examining the role of tourism from a physical, psychological (or intellectual), social and spiritual perspective that has proved important in promoting a healthy lifestyle as well as creating positive feelings of well-being for older travellers. It also offers future directions and builds theory through a holistic model of the dimensions of wellness. Further, it proposes future research priorities related to older individuals that are linked to healthy lifestyles, which include tourism experiences.


本研究的目的是全面回顾旅游业对发展健康生活和促进老年人的幸福感的贡献。这与2030年议程中的可持续发展目标3 “确保所有年龄段的人都能过上健康的生活并促进其福祉 “有关。


本文是一个概念性评论, 它将弥合旅游和人口学之间的研究差距, 并将重点关注支持健康生活方式和帮助发展积极幸福感的老年游客旅行。


人口老龄化和人口结构的变化将为经济、服务和社会带来可能性和困难。开发创新的方法来帮助人们在年老时保持活跃是很重要的, 同时提供措施来消除孤独感也是重要的。旅游和旅行可以在实现这一可持续发展目标方面发挥重要作用。


本研究对现有文献进行了定性概述, 从身体、心理(或智力)、社会和精神角度研究了旅游的作用, 证明了旅游在促进健康生活方式以及为老年旅行者创造积极的幸福感方面的重要性。它还提供了未来的方向, 并通过健康维度的整体模型建立了理论。此外, 它提出了与老年人有关的未来研究重点, 这些研究与健康的生活方式有关, 其中包括旅游体验。


El objetivo de este estudio es proporcionar una revisión exhaustiva de la contribución del turismo al desarrollo de vidas saludables y a la promoción de sentimientos de bienestar para los adultos mayores. Esto se relaciona con el Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible 3 de la Agenda 2030 de “garantizar una vida sana y promover el bienestar para todas las personas en todas las edades”.


Este trabajo se presenta como una revisión conceptual que salvará la brecha de investigación entre el turismo y la demografía y se centrará en los viajes de los turistas mayores que apoyan un estilo de vida saludable y ayudan a desarrollar sentimientos positivos de bienestar.


El envejecimiento de la población y el cambio de la estructura demográfica presentarán tanto posibilidades como dificultades para la economía, los servicios y la sociedad. Es importante desarrollar formas innovadoras para ayudar a las personas a mantenerse activas a medida que envejecen, así como proporcionar medidas para combatir la soledad es primordial. El turismo y los viajes pueden desempeñar un papel importante en la consecución de este ODS.


Este estudio proporciona una visión cualitativa de la literatura existente, examinando el papel del turismo desde una perspectiva física, psicológica (o intelectual), social y espiritual que ha demostrado ser importante en la promoción de un estilo de vida saludable, así como en la creación de sentimientos positivos de bienestar para los viajeros mayores. También ofrece direcciones futuras y construye la teoría a través de un modelo holístico de las dimensiones del bienestar. Además, propone futuras prioridades de investigación relacionadas con las personas mayores que están vinculadas a estilos de vida saludables que incluyen experiencias turísticas.



Patterson, I. and Balderas-Cejudo, A. (2022), "Tourism towards healthy lives and well-being for older adults and senior citizens: tourism agenda 2030", Tourism Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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