Defining physician-assisted suicide tourism and travel

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research


SAGE Publications Inc.


School of Business and Law


Yu, C. E., Wen, J., & Meng, F. (2020). Defining physician-assisted suicide tourism and travel. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 44(4), 694-703. https://doi.org/10.1177/1096348019899437


The concept of suicide tourism was first mentioned in the late 1900s; however, definitions remain ambiguous. Although “tourism” is often associated with joyful experiences, it takes involves forms and purposes that may not be leisure- or pleasure-related, in which suicide tourism is unique and scarcely examined. This study reviews relevant literature, reframes the definition of suicide tourism, and provides a better understanding of this emerging tourism phenomenon. The notion is redefined by tourism practices related to physician-assisted suicide (PAS). Subcategories include suicide tourism and suicide travel, depending on whether a person returns to his or her own country/region after a PAS-related trip. In addition, suicide tourism applies to anyone interested in exploring PAS, including via an informational journey. Finally, directions for future research are discussed. © The Author(s) 2020.