Application of the health belief model to explain public perceptions, travel intentions and actions during COVID-19: a sequential transformative design

Article


Bremser, Kerstin, Crowley-Cyr, Lynda, Abraham, Villy, Moreno-Martin, Maria J. and Carreno, Mercedes. 2022. "Application of the health belief model to explain public perceptions, travel intentions and actions during COVID-19: a sequential transformative design." Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights. 5 (5), pp. 865-885. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTI-12-2020-0235
Article Title

Application of the health belief model to explain public perceptions, travel intentions and actions during COVID-19: a sequential transformative design

ERA Journal ID213276
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsBremser, Kerstin (Author), Crowley-Cyr, Lynda (Author), Abraham, Villy (Author), Moreno-Martin, Maria J. (Author) and Carreno, Mercedes (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights
Journal Citation5 (5), pp. 865-885
Number of Pages21
Year2022
PublisherEmerald
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN2514-9792
2514-9806
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTI-12-2020-0235
Web Address (URL)https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JHTI-12-2020-0235/full/html
Abstract

Purpose: This paper uses a supplemented health belief model (HBM) to explain the risk perception of COVID-19 coronavirus infection by potential and actual domestic and international travelers (from primarily European countries) in the early pre-vaccine phase of the pandemic and its influence on their travel intentions, decisions, and actions. With a health crisis of this magnitude, it is vital to understand the effect of COVID-19-associated containment measures and safety industry strategies in abating public fear and apprehension associated with non-essential travel.

Design/methodology/approach: The authors used a sequential transformative design consisting of a (QUAN + Qual) survey to explore the HBM dimensions. The questions in the quantitative part of the survey were disseminated online examine perceptions of the severity and susceptibility of the disease, travel risks and willingness to travel. The questions in the qualitative face-to-face survey examined, how international/cross-border travelers (from Spain and Germany) perceive the benefits and barriers of personal protective behavior and the potential influence of cues to action.

Findings: Results suggest that despite potential fear arousal and confusion associated with this infectious disease, people were willing to travel during periodic on-and-off travel restrictions and perceive the benefits of such travel as outweighing barriers like wearing masks, social distancing and other containment measures.

Research limitations/implications: The conceptual model enabled the capture of real-time traveler's feelings about the benefits of traveling in the presence of the coronavirus and their perceptions of COVID-19 safety strategies used at destinations. This study adds to the lack of existing knowledge about potential psychological factors influencing travel decisions and behavior, including self-protective behavior. As borders reopen and we progress towards tourism and hospitality recovery, the results of this study can assist organizations, including health officials and governments, by reminding them of the likelihood of residual public fear when planning their COVID-19 safety strategies.

Originality/value: Given the scarcity of COVID-19 research on people's travel intentions and behavior following periods of social isolation due to lockdowns and border closures, this study captures sample public perceptions at two stages early in the pandemic. It is the first to apply all of the HBM dimensions with the addition of travel risk as a construct to investigate people's travel intentions and behaviors without vaccinations or treatments and to include cues to action in the investigation.

Keywordscontainment measures; COVID-19 pandemic; Health belief model; Perceived health threat; Perceived travel risk; Willingness to travel
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020480499. Law in context not elsewhere classified
420699. Public health not elsewhere classified
350802. Tourism forecasting
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsPforzheim University, Germany
University of Southern Queensland
Sapir Academic College, Israel
University of the Balearic Islands, Spain
University of A Coruna, Spain
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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