Research Project: TobeWell

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This project is based on bringing together principles of ecosystem services (ES), which focus on life support systems, with more non-material services such as culture, health and wellbeing through tourism. It aims to link research on wellbeing provided by ecosystems and their use via tourism, leisure and recreation activities.

The underpinning issue of this proposal is to produce new and collaborative research on how and in what way can tourism be a catalyst for improving human health and wellbeing, by using in a symbiotic and sustainable way natural resources and services provided by ecosystems, as well as exploring the challenges of (e)valuation of such services.

This will be achieved by creating a collaborative European network of research centres based around four key working groups, namely (a) theoretical relationships between tourism, wellbeing and ES ;(b) empirical and methodological research challenges and approaches; (c) interrelations between ageing, wellbeing and ES; and (d) policy frameworks’ analysis and research-informed policy making.

The Action will provide a range of academic and practitioner benefits as outlined as detailed in section C. Examples of immediate benefits that can be emphasized here include knowledge transfer between the three core subjects (achieved through a structured programme of networking meetings and activities) and development of research capacity in Early Career Researchers (ECRs) (through annual summer schools and short term scientific missions). Furthermore, the research will provide examples of best practice that will link to policy driven benefits.

In specific terms the Action is aimed at improving the societal needs and wellbeing of EU citizens. This will be through establishing interactions between tourism products, improving lifestyles (health/wellbeing) and ecosystems at various geographical levels. The Action will produce a range of innovative results in the form of academic publications alongside policy reports and recommendations regarding the impact, use and benefits of using tourism to improve wellbeing. Within both contexts outputs should include advice on new tourism products designed around wellbeing and ecosystem services.

These will allow healthy lifestyle products to be co-created between tourism organisations, consumers and land managers, which would lead to commercial benefits for tourism firms as well as improving the quality of tourism and natural resources in particular destinations.


Research Institute


Funding Institution

European Commission

Official project number

Status and date of completion

Ongoing, October 2016