Food festivals and well-being: Extending the PERMA model

Giulia Rossetti, Allan Jepson, Valentina Albanese

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The theoretical contribution of this paper is the creation of a new conceptual framework of PERMA well-being outcomes. The framework expands PERMA’s positive emotions, meaning, and accomplishment components. Specifically, it features new elements, such as feelings of freedom and optimism, spirituality and mindfulness, learning and bodily accomplishment. It also shows how the components are all related and influence each other and includes the different pathways and factors that can help promote well-being. The empirical contribution of the study is the application of PERMA in a relatively new context of study: food festival tourism. This study applies Seligman’s (2011) PERMA model to two established food festivals in different countries: Italy (Mercatino del Gusto di Maglie festival, Maglie, Province of Lecce) and England (Ludlow Food Festival, Shropshire). Understanding well-being in the context of food festivals is important as food can increase tourists’ sense of being well (Pourfakhimi et al., 2021) and food festivals have the power of changing habits and food choices (Organ et al., 2015). Nevertheless, only a few studies have explored how food festivals generate well-being (Francesc & Pont-Llagostera, 2021), especially in different cultural contexts (Organ et al., 2015). This paper’s contribution is to illustrate how food festival participation fosters visitors’ well-being and to analyse which PERMA domains provide the greatest impact for festival visitors. So, while this paper does not measure subjective well-being, it does answer the call to advance knowledge on the application of PERMA (Seligman, 2018) while also carrying out interdisciplinary well-being research in different cultural settings.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Food festivals
  • PERMA model
  • Well-being


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