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An existential conceptualization of the vacation cycle


  • Kirillova, Ksenia
  • Lehto, Xinran


Utilizing the notions of existential authenticity and normal anxiety, we propose the five-phase model of vacation cycle and elucidate mechanisms behind vacation and fade-out effects. Departing from a purely philosophical view on existential authenticity, we focus on its understanding via the existential psychology lenses, arguing that existential authenticity is a relative, dynamic, and four-dimensional concept. Supported by the current empirical evidences and theoretical advancements in existential psychology, this study posits that, accompanied by anxiety fluctuations, authenticity varies during a vacation across four dimensions of human existence: Umwelt, Mitwelt, Eigenwelt, and Uberwelt. We suggest that these changes are associated with vacation (when evoked by liminality and awe) and fade-out effects (when prompted by the lack of existential courage and anxiety tranquilization).

Suggested Citation

  • Kirillova, Ksenia & Lehto, Xinran, 2015. "An existential conceptualization of the vacation cycle," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 110-123.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:anture:v:55:y:2015:i:c:p:110-123
    DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2015.09.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arnould, Eric J & Price, Linda L, 1993. " River Magic: Extraordinary Experience and the Extended Service Encounter," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 24-45, June.
    2. Resnicow, K. & Page, S.E., 2008. "Embracing chaos and complexity: A quantum change for public health," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 98(8), pages 1382-1389.
    3. Shepherd, Robert J., 2015. "Why Heidegger did not travel: Existential angst, authenticity, and tourist experiences," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 60-71.
    4. Anthony D. Ong, 2009. "On the Measurement and Mismeasurement of Happiness: Contemporary Theories and Methodological Directions," Chapters, in: Amitava Krishna Dutt & Benjamin Radcliff (ed.), Happiness, Economics and Politics, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Levi, Eyal & Dolev, Tohar & Collins-Kreiner, Noga & Zilcha-Mano, Sigal, 2019. "Tourism and depressive symptoms," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 191-194.
    2. Vidon, Elizabeth S. & Rickly, Jillian M., 2018. "Alienation and anxiety in tourism motivation," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 65-75.
    3. Canavan, Brendan, 2019. "Tourism-in-literature: Existential comfort, confrontation and catastrophe in Guy De Maupassant's short stories," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 1-1.
    4. Tribe, John & Mkono, Muchazondida, 2017. "Not such smart tourism? The concept of e-lienation," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 105-115.
    5. Gill, Chelsea & Packer, Jan & Ballantyne, Roy, 2019. "Spiritual retreats as a restorative destination: Design factors facilitating restorative outcomes," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    6. Hofmarcher, Thomas, 2017. "The Effect of Paid Vacation on Health: Evidence from Sweden," Working Papers 2017:13, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 17 Nov 2018.
    7. Kay Smith, Melanie & Diekmann, Anya, 2017. "Tourism and wellbeing," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 1-13.


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