GDP of Happiness – measuring holiday happiness




New Forest Escapes have teamed up with researchers at the University of Cumbria on an innovative research project to investigate the factors affecting visitors happiness and wellbeing as a result of staying in a sustainable place.

We hope to answer questions such as ‘How much is holiday happiness to do with what the owners provide?’ ‘How much do the guests own experiences or the weather contribute?’ ‘How does a sustainable home add to guests experience of holiday happiness?’ And most importantly – ‘Can these factors help to reduce a guests climate concerns?’

You can help with this exciting project by scanning the below QR code and completing our survey (it should take no longer than 4-6 minutes).

“We believe that sustainable places can offer memorable experiences that will enhance peoples’ happiness and wellbeing, while being positive for the environment and the community too!”

Since Jan 2023 we’ve been teaming up with Dr. Demos Parapanos, an academic wizard whose PhD focused on the benefits of making sustainability in tourism fun and engaging. With his sharp mind at the helm, we’ve pioneering this ground-breaking project, based on measuring the Tibetan Governments idea of Gross National Happiness (GNH).


What is happiness? Gross Domestic Product or The Happiness Index?

In the UK we measure Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a Western framework used to assess a countries financial success. The idea is famously weak, and even the author said it shouldn’t be used to measure ‘the good in the world’, because it focuses solely on financial gain. We all know money can’t buy happiness, right?

Conversely, Tibet adopts a philosophy of ‘Gross National Happiness’ (GNH), in which the collective happiness of the nation is the goal of governance and harmony with nature and traditional values are the emphasis. The four main pillars of GNH are:

  1.  Sustainable and equitable socio-economic development
  2. Environmental conservation
  3. Preservation and promotion of culture
  4. Good governance

We hope to show that a guests happiness can be positively affected by homeowners ‘doing the right thing’ and delivering greener- living holidays in a positive way.  After all,  isn’t that what we all want from our holidays?


If you want to find out more about this project, why not read our interview with Dr Demos here…

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