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Tourism in the Face of Environmental Risks: Sunbathing under the Ozone Hole, and Strolling through Polluted Air

Tourism in the Face of Environmental Risks: Sunbathing under the Ozone Hole, and Strolling... Numerous regions suffer from serious environmental risks, such as air pollution or ozone depletion. These regions are still attractive for many tourists, but little is known about how tourists perceive and respond to environmental risks that they encounter at their travel destination. In this study, we propose a theoretical framework that emphasizes the role of anticipated emotions and of evaluations of life quality to elucidate travel decisions concerning destinations that involve environmental risks. For illustrative purposes, two destinations, each with a prevalent environmental risk, were examined: Australia with ozone depletion and Bangkok with severe air pollution. Tourists who actually traveled to these locations were compared with non-travelers, who imagined a hypothetical journey. We find that travelers generally perceive lower risks and report less negative emotions than non-travelers. Air pollution in Bangkok is seen as posing higher risks to nature than ozone depletion in Australia. Travelers indicate higher satisfaction with life, but these judgments are modified by the travel experience. Having returned from their journey, travelers are particularly more satisfied with health, freedom, and social justice, and evaluate experience with nature as more important than do non-travelers. We conclude that decisions to travel to environmentally-afflicted destinations are related to people's anticipated emotional responses, and that the actual experience of environmental problems during the journey may influence travelers' evaluation of their life quality. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Taylor & Francis

Tourism in the Face of Environmental Risks: Sunbathing under the Ozone Hole, and Strolling through Polluted Air

18 pages

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References (46)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1502-2269
eISSN
1502-2250
DOI
10.1080/15022250.2011.593354
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Numerous regions suffer from serious environmental risks, such as air pollution or ozone depletion. These regions are still attractive for many tourists, but little is known about how tourists perceive and respond to environmental risks that they encounter at their travel destination. In this study, we propose a theoretical framework that emphasizes the role of anticipated emotions and of evaluations of life quality to elucidate travel decisions concerning destinations that involve environmental risks. For illustrative purposes, two destinations, each with a prevalent environmental risk, were examined: Australia with ozone depletion and Bangkok with severe air pollution. Tourists who actually traveled to these locations were compared with non-travelers, who imagined a hypothetical journey. We find that travelers generally perceive lower risks and report less negative emotions than non-travelers. Air pollution in Bangkok is seen as posing higher risks to nature than ozone depletion in Australia. Travelers indicate higher satisfaction with life, but these judgments are modified by the travel experience. Having returned from their journey, travelers are particularly more satisfied with health, freedom, and social justice, and evaluate experience with nature as more important than do non-travelers. We conclude that decisions to travel to environmentally-afflicted destinations are related to people's anticipated emotional responses, and that the actual experience of environmental problems during the journey may influence travelers' evaluation of their life quality.

Journal

Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and TourismTaylor & Francis

Published: Oct 1, 2011

Keywords: Risk perception; tourism; environmental risks; emotion; life quality

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