Infectious Disease Risk (IDR) Perception and Prospective Tourists’ Travel Intention to a Mega-sport Event Host Country: The Mediating Role of Risk Information Seeking

Accepted for presentation at the virtual Annual ICA Conference, May 27-31, 2021.

Abstract: While risk perception has been the subject of many sport tourism studies, much remains to be linked with risk information seeking, travel-related response, and behavior in the sport tourism contexts. Previous studies lacked evidence-based literature to examine the effect of risk perception on travel decisions in the case of risks associated with infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Analyzing data from an online survey of American and South Korean adults (N = 537) who had a willingness to international travel, this study expands the scope of the study in risk information of prospective tourists by explaining how IDR perception among prospective tourists through the media leads to travel intentions to a host region. Among the key findings, prospective tourists who perceived COVID-19 as highly risky tend to feel less safe traveling to a host region. Our findings also revealed a positive relationship between information seeking and risk perception. This study sheds light on the importance of understanding the role of IDR perception in risk information management for a mega-sport event host country by providing the most up-to-date real-world pandemic case, which has critically impacted the global sport tourism and risk management fields.

Yan Jin  DongWon Choi 

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