Discontentment with modern life: The influence on tourism

Document Type

Journal Article


Romanian-American Association of Project Managers for Education and Research


School of Business and Law




Originally published as : Willson, G., Maccarthy, M., (2016), Discontentment with modern life: The case for tourism. Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends, 9(1), 31-46.


Many people in modern society are searching for greater meaning in their lives. Modern issues such as excessive materialism, secularism, stress, global warming and terrorism have led people to search for additional meaning in their tourism experiences. This paper explores how discontentment with modern life may influence upon an individual's travel decisions and experiences. Through conducting multiple interviews with eleven tourists over an eighteen months period, this paper explores how the frustrations of modern life influenced the travel decisions and experiences of tourists engaging in travel with Hands up Holidays, a tourism operator marketing them as offering meaningful travel. This paper evidences that tourism experiences can be used as a ward against and relief from the negativities of modern life. In this way, tourism can be viewed as a potential antidote against anxiety and depression caused by the stressors of modern living.