Forest-bathing experiences can be seen as guided recreational activities led by non-clinical trained practitioners in the context of green, slow, and mindful tourism. Notwithstanding its growing practice, there is a lack of research on the psychological benefits which can help support nature-based tourism destination managers in unlocking the potential of this emerging tourism demand. This study will fill in this gap by testing the hypothesis that a three-day forest-bathing retreat, which fits with the most common type of holidays in Europe, will enhance positive affect, vitality, optimism, and gratitude as indicators of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Forty-four adults were involved in the residential program and filled-in self-report questionnaires before and after the experience to assess the well-being dimensions considered. Results showed a significant increase for all the assessed variables. We conclude that forest bathing as a mindful tourism practice carried out in natural settings dominated by forests can favor hedonic and eudaimonic well-being, thus becoming a potential source of attractiveness for nature-based touristic destinations, but more transdisciplinary efforts are needed to exploit this potential. In particular, research gaps still exist in Europe on cause-effect relations between forest features and psychological benefits, how forests could be managed to guarantee these benefits to the advantage of a tourism destination, and how tourism and forest management sectors could collaborate in this direction.

A three-day forest-bathing retreat enhances positive affect, vitality, optimism, and gratitude: An option for green-care tourism in Italy?

Secco, L
;
Moe, A;Pazzaglia, F;De Mas, G;Perrone, R;
2023

Abstract

Forest-bathing experiences can be seen as guided recreational activities led by non-clinical trained practitioners in the context of green, slow, and mindful tourism. Notwithstanding its growing practice, there is a lack of research on the psychological benefits which can help support nature-based tourism destination managers in unlocking the potential of this emerging tourism demand. This study will fill in this gap by testing the hypothesis that a three-day forest-bathing retreat, which fits with the most common type of holidays in Europe, will enhance positive affect, vitality, optimism, and gratitude as indicators of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Forty-four adults were involved in the residential program and filled-in self-report questionnaires before and after the experience to assess the well-being dimensions considered. Results showed a significant increase for all the assessed variables. We conclude that forest bathing as a mindful tourism practice carried out in natural settings dominated by forests can favor hedonic and eudaimonic well-being, thus becoming a potential source of attractiveness for nature-based touristic destinations, but more transdisciplinary efforts are needed to exploit this potential. In particular, research gaps still exist in Europe on cause-effect relations between forest features and psychological benefits, how forests could be managed to guarantee these benefits to the advantage of a tourism destination, and how tourism and forest management sectors could collaborate in this direction.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3492422
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