Psychological well-being from virtual tourism: a mixed method approach

Aojia Zhang, Honggen Xiao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Virtual tourism, utilizing digital immersive technologies, enriches sensory perceptions and triggers physiological and cerebral responses, which builds upon physical travel-related undertakings, either on-site or off-site. This study conducted a grounded theory analysis, combining electroencephalogram (EEG) experiments and interviews in Asia, to unravel the intricate relationship between virtual tourism and participants’ psychological well-being. Our findings reveal that individuals’ well-being encompasses three levels and five dimensions: Natural Harmony (Emotion Refinement & Meaningful Connections), Self-Flourishing (Self-Realizing Gratification & Environmental Mastery), and Detached State (Flow). The study contributes to theorizing and understanding the constituents and mechanism underlying the development of individuals’ psychological well-being through virtual tourism, shedding light on an area largely unexplored in tourism studies. This research informs post-pandemic tourism revival strategies, guides destination imagery reconfiguration, and optimizes service delivery, ensuring alignment with the holistic well-being of tourists.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research
Early online date21 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • Confucianism
  • digital immersion technology
  • electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • psychological well-being
  • tourism experience
  • Virtual tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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