Risk Perception and Tourist Types: A Study Among International Tourists

Risk Perception and Tourist Types: A Study Among International Tourists

Deepti Jog (Goa Institute of Management, Sattari, India) and Nandakumar Mekoth (Department of Management Studies, Goa University, Taleigao Plateau, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJTHMDA.2019070102
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Over time, tourism has become an industry that has a visible impact on the overall development of the society. This study examines the impact of perceived risks on different types of tourists classified on the basis of travel motives and would help develop a variety of risk-reducing phenomena and paraphernalia to supply to the traveller. Based on a survey conducted among tourists visiting a tourist destination, the study explores the differences in risk perception among different tourist types. The study uses a self-designed scale on type of risks against the ITR scale that classifies travellers into three types based on their travel motives. Findings supported two types of tourist classification against the three types in the existing ITR scale. Findings further revealed that there is a significant difference in the risk perception of the two types of tourists based on their travel motives in case of satisfaction risk, exhaustion risk and psychological risk.
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In the world economy today, tourism stands at the top of the crest. Tourism industry today is one of the topmost and is thus responsible for providing employment to a vast sum of the population. The industry as a whole is accountable for generating immense revenue for the state or the country that destination belongs to.

For many tourist destinations all over the world, tourism plays an important role in the local economy, providing employment opportunities and foreign exchange and enabling transport and communication connectivity (Gossling, 2003). Tourism in a way also aids in the continuous development of the tourist destination. This development such as urbanization, improved transportation, and infrastructure, which takes place in order to attract the visitors to a destination, besides, pays a benefit even to the local residents.

Travel Researchers have acknowledged the image of a destination as an important factor that affects the tourists’ travel decisions to a particular destination (Bigne et al., 2001; Birgit, 2001). There are several past studies on perceived risk measurement and revisit intentions of travelers. Perceived Risk is understood to help predict the depth of potential effectiveness achieved from a distinct travel experience and the behavioral intentions to revisit that specific location (Chen & Chen, 2010; Cole & Illum, 2006; Lee et al., 2007).

Leiper (1979) explained in his study that tourism as a system is a process which encompasses visitors leaving their homeland and visiting unusual destinations, traveling to and staying at tourist destinations, and returning to their destination of stay. World Tourism Organization (WTO), states that tourism “comprises the activities of persons traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes, distinct from the excise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited” (OECD, 1998, p. 1).

As tourists usually travel with people known or unknown to experience places and cultures through interacting with the familiar and the unfamiliar (Pearce et al., 2011), travel risks get associated with the travel decisions at every step. Tourism planners need to be conscious about the risks that might cause anxiety among visitors. This conscience should also apprise promotion strategies. This is of particular importance in the developing world where tourism is being promoted as an important market sector (Burns, 1999).

Previous research in the field of tourism risk perception has shown that the perception of risk associated with travel decisions has a strong impact on travel planning and destination choice. Many researchers have looked into the impact of tourism risk perception on different types of risks associated with travel. Researchers also have looked into the effect of risk perception on tourists (e.g. Sonmez and Graefe, 1998a; Fischhoff et al., 2004), the affiliation between risk perception and choice of destination (e.g. Lepp and Gibson, 2008), and the effect of the type of holiday chosen on risk perception (e.g. Reichel et al., 2007), as well as the influence of tourist personality (e.g. Roehl and Fesenmaier, 1992; Carr, 2001). The overall Travel decision-making process is a complicated one that is risky and uncertain (Sirakaya & Woodside, 2005).

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