Federation Business School

Research projects

Maximising the health and well-being benefits of visiting friends and relatives

The VFR Travel Research Network is leading a project examining the link between VFR travel and the health and well-being benefits for socio-economic disadvantaged people.


  • Associate Professor Elisa Backer (Chief Investigator)
  • Associate Professor Jeremy Buultjens (Chief Investigator)
  • Professor Brian Hay (Partner Investigator)
  • Professor Alastair Morrison (Partner Investigator)

Proposal summary

The prevention of disease and illness by promoting healthy lifestyles is the key to healthy communities and reduced health care costs. Tourism is identified as providing considerable health and well-being benefits, but some disadvantaged groups including those on low incomes, seniors, the disabled and Indigenous people are less likely to participate in tourism activities. Understanding and maximising the benefits for disadvantaged groups is important. The aim of this research is to identify the health and well-being outcomes from Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) for disadvantaged groups, the factors that will enhance their VFR experiences, and to identify practical policy interventions to maximise the benefits from this tourism segment

The VFR Travel Research Network has also engaged in a number of applied research projects for industry.  Organisations interested in having research into VFR travel undertaken by the network should contact the nominated network leader (refer contact us section).