How happy are tourists during a day of their holiday and what makes them happy? These questions were addressed in a study of 466 international tourists in the Netherlands. While on vacation, tourists are generally high on hedonic level of affect, with positive affect exceeding negative affect almost fourfold. Affect balance is higher than generally observed in everyday life, whereas tourists’ life satisfaction is not significantly different compared with life satisfaction in their everyday life. Vacationers’ socioeconomic backgrounds and life satisfaction only partially explain their affective state of the day. Most of the variance is explained by factors associated with the holiday trip itself. During a holiday, holiday stress and attitude toward the travel party are the most important determinants of daily affect balance. These findings imply that on the whole, the tourism industry is doing a good job. The industry could probably do better with more research on experiences during the holiday.

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Journal of Travel Research
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Nawijn, J. (2011). Determinants of Daily Happiness on Vacation. Journal of Travel Research, 50(5), 559–566. doi:10.1177/0047287510379164