El jueves 17 de noviembre a las 11 horas en modalidad híbrida tendrá lugar un Seminario de investigación en turismo titulado Traveler’s vulnerability in the COVID-19 pandemic. Should we even care? Estará a cargo de Vladislava Stanková de Kore University of Enna, Italy.
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In this study, we aim at pinpointing traveler’s vulnerability and broaden this concept to extreme events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, with the key objective of identifying its aggravating and mitigating determinants. We also discuss some policy recommendations through the lens of resilience to similar future shocks. In fact, COVID-19 posed a severe threat to national, and international mobility. From this standpoint and given the evidence-based review of past definitions, we define the traveler’s perceived vulnerability as the traveler’s perception of being able to continue to travel—performing his/her primary function—in the event of an extreme shock. Furthermore, we employ the explanatory factor analysis (EFA) on survey data collected in Uruguay between December 2020 and January 2021 as a means to capture the influencing determinants during the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis revealed that responsiveness to leisure and essential travel re-opening, perception of COVID-19, and responsiveness to hard and light safety measures are principal gauging factors. We then estimate the impact of each factor on traveler’s vulnerability using multiple regression models, controlling for sociodemographic and socioeconomic variables of the interviewees. Our findings suggest that while hard safety measures, like those requiring quarantine or health examination at the travelers’ final destination, do not increase vulnerability, lighter regulations, like those requiring the submission of negative test results or health forms before departure, significantly do so and have an aggravating effect similar to that of the COVID-19 perception. We also observed that travelers’; trust in the re-opening of essential travel services mitigates their sense of vulnerability. Finally, our conclusion is that monitoring travelers’ vulnerability is crucial when implementing risk mitigating policies and assisting tourism recovery.