Understanding the relationship between terminal illness and tourism: An exploratory study

Philippa Hunter-Jones*, Lynn Sudbury-Riley, Ahmed Al-Abdin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Two research questions lie at the heart of this paper: what are the needs of terminally ill patients and their families and what can tourism providers do to better meet these needs? We offer both theoretical and managerial contributions to these questions, drawing insights from our extensive empirical research into terminal illness, positioned here as a profound form of unsettled times. We mine the stories collected from in excess of 200 patients and their families diagnosed with a terminal illness through to bereavement. Domestic tourism, visiting friends and relatives and respite care all dominate this space. We propose a hierarchy of service needs categorised as: emotional; informational; environmental; restorative; and aftercare, offering also a temporal understanding of which services are needed, and at which point in time. Future opportunities to test the validity of this hierarchy in other health-tourism contexts to aid tourism business planning and practice are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104397
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Emotions
  • End-of-life care
  • Fear
  • Hospice
  • Palliative care
  • Respite
  • Trajectory Touchpoint Technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management

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