Wellness tourism in an active life system and promotion of social cohesion: the case of senior university(s)


  • Eunice Lopes IPT
  • Jorge Simões IPT
  • Eunice Duarte IPS
  • José Rodrigues




wellness tourism, cultural tourism, social cohesion, senior university, active life


Recognition of the potential of wellness and quality of life for tourism was manifested by deepening knowledge of this market in the face of the cultural and tourist dynamics developed, but also through the creation of new tourism products specific to this sector and an active lifestyle system. Senior universities, for example, have been playing an increasingly important role in this dynamic of well-being and active life. It has not only promoted activities aimed at the cultural and tourist practice of an active life of well-being but also contributed to the social cohesion of the territory. In this study, carried out geographically in the Centre of Portugal, the aim is to present a case study related to the practice of well-being and active life through the senior university in its relationship with tourism education and the enhancement of the cultural experience. The main objectives of this study are, therefore, the approach to wellness tourism in an active life system and the promotion of social cohesion and by verifying the importance of guaranteeing a healthy life in tourist places that lead people to experience aspects of a healthy lifestyle committed to growing cultural and tourist knowledge. To achieve both objectives, a quantitative analysis was carried out, and from the preliminary results, it is identified that senior universities should, therefore, be understood as social intervention devices. Innovative didactic approaches to teaching end up accompanying the availability of information that facilitates access to knowledge, not least because the new reality contributed by the aging of the population, associated with the process of globalization and the economic and social situation, poses new challenges to the present-day education of well-being, being and quality of life.  The conclusions point to favoring the quality of life and social inclusion of those who actively participate in the activities provided by the senior university(s), as active life strategies linked to cultural, wellness, and tourism quality of life, reinforcing the role of social cohesion in the territory in which it operates.