Explorations of kindness and gratitude, a felt sense of thankfulness, are missing from tourism studies. Such explorations shed light on psychological value of relationships and social capital. We adopted a positive psychology theoretical lens to explore acts of kindness from strangers towards tourists and to understand how these acts are valued. To meet that aim, we conducted a study with twenty Canadian tourists. Through thematic analysis of semi structured, in-depth interviews, we identified these themes: trust in the other person; a sense of risk or adventurousness; novelty or authenticity of the experience; and eudaimonic growth, that is, receiving kindness from strangers indicated well-being beyond experiencing pleasures. Costs and benefits to benefactors were identified. We developed a model that explains how acts of kindness are personally valued by tourists.
- Happiness and well-being
- Social capital
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management