Inaugural speech Marcel Bastiaansen: Meaningful leisure and tourism experiences as catalysts of well-being

Leisure and tourism experiences impact individual well-being and the quality of life. There is an enormous and dynamic industry in place in the field of tourism and leisure, and developments in leisure experiences reveal transitions taking place in society. Apart from being interesting and relaxed, it is an important topic for fundamental and applied research, says Prof. Dr. Marcel Bastiaansen in his inaugural address titled Meaningful leisure and tourism experiences as catalysts of well-being. He will deliver his inaugural address at Tilburg University on Friday 10 June.

What exactly are meaningful leisure experiences? What is the value of tourism? And how do these concepts contribute to more well-being? Prof. Marcel Bastiaansen (Department of Cognitive Neuropsychology and Breda University of Applied Sciences) will answer these questions in his inaugural address. He will also offer a glimpse at how physiological measuring methods such as skin conductivity and EEG can be used to measure the emotional impact of leisure and tourism experiences at various moments in time.

Marcel Bastiaansen: “Leisure experiences are an important part of people’s live, and impact individual well-being, but also, for example, social cohesion between the several groups in society. Measuring experiences and their impact on individuals as objectively as possible is of scientific importance, and serves as a handle for policy and industry. 
Leisure experiences can, for example be used as a policy instrument to promote social inclusion. Furthermore,  the leisure and tourism sector could benefit a lot from an empirically founded approach of how you can shape experiences, and you could optimise them evidence-based to better align the intended effect and actual experiences.

The research conducted by Marcel Bastiaansen is at the interface of various disciplines of psychological research, such as positive psychology, cognitive psychology, and cognitive and affective neurosciences. He is the holder of the chair of Leisure and Tourism Studies at Tilburg University, which is shared with Breda University of Applied Sciences.

About Prof. Dr. Marcel Bastiaansen

Prof. Dr. Marcel Bastiaansen received his MSc in Theoretical and Experimental Psychology (1996) and PhD in Cognitive Neurosciences (2000, cum laude) at Tilburg University. Then he moved to Nijmegen, where he held research positions at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and at the Donders Institute for Cognitive Neurosciences at Radboud University Nijmegen. In 2013 Marcel took up employment with Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas). Here he leads the Experience Lab, where both fundamental and applied research is carried out into the role of emotions in leisure and tourism experiences and how these experiences relate to well-being and quality of life. Since 2016, Marcel has been a member of the Department of Cognitive Neuropsychology at Tilburg University. In 2018, he became a member of the Management Team of the Academy for Leisure & Events of BUas, and he became responsible for scientific education and research of this Academy.

Note for press

Marcel Bastiaansen’s inaugural address will be delivered at the auditorium of Tilburg University on Friday 10 June at 16.15 hrs. It can be viewed via livestream.  

A digital copy of his inaugural address titled Meaningful leisure and tourism experiences as catalysts of well-being can be requested via or by telephone at 013 - 466 4000.