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Safety or Travel: Which Is More Important? The Impact of Disaster Events on Tourism

Haiyan Ma (), Yung-Ho Chiu (), Xiaocong Tian (), Juanjuan Zhang () and Quan Guo ()
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Haiyan Ma: School of Management, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
Xiaocong Tian: College of Business, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai 200433, China
Juanjuan Zhang: College of Business, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai 200433, China
Quan Guo: School of Business, Global Institute of Software Technology, Suzhou 215000, China

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 7, 1-12

Abstract: Tourism is making an increasingly considerable contribution to the sustainable development of world economy, but its development is susceptible to a series of disaster events. The impact of disaster events on tourists’ travel decisions is receiving ever-growing attention. In this study, disasters are classified into two categories: namely, natural disasters and man-made disasters. Among these disasters, earthquakes and terrorist attacks—as the most representative two types—are taken as research examples. By virtue of a difference-in-difference research method and online review data from TripAdvisor, multiple incidents that have occurred in different countries are systematically and comparatively analyzed for verifying the effects of catastrophic events with varying natures, frequencies, and intensities on tourism. The main findings are as follows: (1) both natural disasters and man-made disasters have a negative effect on the number of tourists and the tourist experience; (2) higher frequency and intensity of terrorist attacks may not correspond to tourism, and terrorist attacks exert a more influential impact on the safety image of tourist destinations; (3) compared with the scale and intensity of earthquakes, the frequency of earthquakes has a greater effect on tourism; (4) compared with terrorist attacks, earthquakes have a greater effect on the number of tourists.

Keywords: terrorist attacks; natural disasters; number of tourists; tourist experience (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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