Variables in Travelling Abroad

Research Paper (postgraduate) 2010 17 Pages

Tourism - Miscellaneous


Research Paper: Variables in Travelling Abroad

Levi Leatherberry

Methods of Research

I. Introduction / Research Question

Travelling has effected nations and individuals since nearly their conception. Centuries have become witness to the trends of travel and from the whims of the individual to the necessity of a refugee. As the world becomes more integrated travel has increases, and suddenly there are more foreigners eating around you, living around you, and speaking their language in front of you. Begging many citizens to researchers to ask the question what makes people travel? To many these are immigrants seeking a better life, driven by poverty and desperation from their homeland to those of greater wealth and opportunity. Yet this does not explain Americans emigrating to Western Europe, or emigration vice versa. Although income is a significant motivation for travelling there are many other factors at play, how many travel agencies are there advertising travel based on income saying “go to Pairs – there’s a surplus of low-wage jobs”. Surely there are other factors influencing the reasons for travel, things like family, friends and experience overseas are likely to decrease the negative assumptions of many travelers as they become acquainted or attached to the prospect of traveling to other nations. While fear and negative media coverage are likely to increase negatively impact the likeliness of travel, it is sensibly hard to imagine someone travelling to a nation they are terrified of. Thus the degree of fear and its effect on travel will be the focus of this study. The impact of terrorism on international travel and the effect of negative media coverage are good ways to measure the impacts of fear on potential travelers as well as the resilient trends of some decision making parties. To this effect the impact of terrorism after 9/11 had on the general public, and the Summer Olympics in Athens in 2004 are good measures of these trends. Because people generally know how they feel about terrorism, especially when it’s directed at themselves. These cases examine the premise of traveling - safety, the safer people feel the more they travel.

II. Literature Review

Fear and reactions to fear dominate almost every decision we make as citizens, as such a mass of work on the matter exists. But due to the difficulty of surveying or measuring international travelers there is a slimmed ratio of its application to travel. This study will deal with three main variables which effect travel, fear, resilience, and capability. For fear media and terrorism will be examined, for resilience the Athens Olympic reaction and the professor study will serve as supportive evidence. Lastly for capability technology and gender issues will be examined to determine limitations which would impede travel.

In Defense & Peace Economics, Llorca-Vivero, Rafael analyzed the direct impact of terrorism on international tourism flows. Through the course of the study Rafeal shows how tourism from the richer G-7 nations to a host of over 134 destinations decreased in response to terrorism. By showing the ‘deviation’ from what they had marked as standard tourist flows pervious to the impact of terrorism. The analysis suggests that both domestic victims and international attacks are relevant factors when foreign tourists make their choice (Llorca-Vivero Rafael, 2008). Additionally Rafael also noted that the both although “developed countries suffer from more terrorist attacks, the consequences are more severe in developing countries”. (Rafael, 2008, pp.179) Showing that fear of travel has far reaching implications. The degrees of deviation in 1st world tourism in response to terrorism and their effects on developing nations will be applied in my study as measures of both the far reaching implications of terrorism on travelling but also as a practical measure of statistical decline in travel due to fear.

Similar studies on the effects of fear on large populations came in the form of David L. Atheide and Sam Michalowski’s contribution to the Sociological Quarterly. When he researched the involvement of the literary term ‘fear’ and measured its usage in the news – and concluded that it’s on the incline in popular media formats. Altheide and Michalowski conducted this research my monitoring a medium of media outlets over a decade. Since fear of terrorism effected peoples decisions to travel Altheide and Michalowski’s study on the increase of fear in the media can lead to the conclusion that as fear goes up in the media, travel goes down respectively to some degree. Since travelling is affected by the emotional fearful response of its participants and “No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear” (Michalowski, 1999, pp. 2). Therefore I will include the increase in which a nation’s media is saturated in fear as an indication of the decreased willingness of influenced citizens to travel.

Neither the terrorist nor fear mongering of national media outlets accounts for the resilient characteristics displayed by populations in reaction to such stimulation. However Kristine Toohey and Tracy Taylor took on this challenge with their submittal to the Journal of Sport Management. Remarking in their study of the relation since 1972 of Olympic Games and terrorism, and the concern thereof of it being a terrorist target. After 9/11 there was a strong resurgence of this trend during the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens. Nevertheless members of the audience to the games in 2004 showed a “resilience, resistance and indifference to the potential terrorism threats,” (Kristine Toohey, 2008, pp. 3). These emotional traits of the audience are significant indicators of a the general publics ability to develop an indifference, resistance, or resilience to the terrorist threats in their community and world and not let it affect their travel aspirations. Thus will be included in the study as a potential counteractive force to the preciously mentioned effects of media and terrorism and fear based decisions.

In addition to the resilience of crowds in Athens other communities have shown a similar resilience to the effects of terrorism. Such as the subjects in Staats, Sara, and Paul Panek and David Cosmar’s submission to the Journal of Psychology, this was centered on air travel concerns following 9/11. In order to achieve a subjective angle 306 universities faculty received random selection and where surveyed on their concerns regarding travelling. Results found that more faculty where more worried about time schedules than the event of terrorism, “we note an overall picture of positive attitudes toward travel and relatively few travel concerns among university faculty travelers,” (David Cosmar, 2008, pp. 130). Additionally the previously described traits of resilience and resistance are further clarified by this study as being displayed within the data as “consistent with self-efficacy, positive psychology, the developing interest in character strengths, virtues, and especially the emphasis on future orientation,” (David Cosmar, 2008, pp. 130). This clarification will be included into the study to evolve the specific characteristics of the counteractive forces found within crowds towards terrorism.

Factors which need to be included within this study include the realistic limitation on the capability of individuals to engage in travel at all, or limitations which may effect their decisions. Ren, Fang and Mei-Po Kawn addressed these concerns with regard to technology and gender issues in their study included in the Journal of transport Geography. Since internet is a primary source of booking and travel planning in most events access and maintenance of this access determines to a significant degree the ability of individuals to participate in physical activities, including travel. By using an internet-activity diary dataset and a termed multi-group structural equation modeling, this study was able to analyze the interaction between different types of internet and physical activities (Mei-Po Kwan, 2009). These are broken further into trends of maintenance, leisure and activities. This study showed a discrepancy between both men and women’s travelling; woman’s travelling affected by availability of activities, men’s by leisure. This study demonstrates that the act of travelling is determined not only by the willingness of the traveler, their fear or resilience, but also by the location itself and whether the preferred activities are available to different sexes. These additions will be included in my study to broaden the spectrum of concerns that affect the ability of individuals to travel.



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Hawai'i Pacific University
travel safety fear international travel global travel world citizens international travelers travelling abroad travel abroad



Title: Variables in Travelling Abroad