TO TRAVEL OR NOT: TRAVEL INTENTION DURING POST-PANDEMIC TIMES
Keywords:travel intention, perception of information, social group, perceived travel risk
The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the tourism industry in various ways, including tourists’ travel intentions. Unlike previous studies that have focused on the dark side of the pandemic, this study adds the dimension of perceptions of information on COVID-19, social groups, and perceived travel risk to explore their influence on travel intention. A total of 250 valid questionnaires were collected from a sample of Malaysian private university students. The results showed that students’ traveling intention for local or international destination in the forthcoming year following the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak is significantly high. In addition, the travel intention of Malaysian students was formed from the direct roles of COVID-19 information, social groups, and perceived travel risks. Perhaps, these students start travel plans when they feel the pandemic was under control by the government especially the statistics of affected people revealed by the Ministry of Health shows a decreasing trend. In addition, they might have the intention to travel since their family and friends have the same intention. However, students may choose destinations with less risk, and destinations that they perceive as risky may become undesirable. This study contributes to the understanding of the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism and of university students’ travel intentions. It also offers implications for the tourism industry to formulate relevant recovery strategies after the pandemic.
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