Presenter Bios

Homa Hajibaba is a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Queensland. Her PhD focused on how to prevent dramatic drops in tourism demand after an unexpected disaster hits a destination. She is currently working on gaining insight into why peer-to-peer accommodation networks are so successful.

Sara Dolnicar is a Research Professor of Tourism at The University of Queensland. Her core research interests are the improvement of market segmentation methodology and the testing and refinement of measures used in social science research. Because her key research interests are not tied to any particular application area, Sara has had the luxury to investigate a range of different applied research areas, including sustainable tourism and tourism marketing, environmental volunteering, foster carer and public acceptance of water alternatives and water conservation measures.

Abstract

Natural disasters and terrorism that hit tourist destinations can negatively affect tourism demand. The drop in tourism demand following crises is specifically critical to tourism dependent economies. To reduce the negative effect of such events, preventative measures have to be implemented by tourist destinations. Using open-ended questions, the present study directly asks tourists what measures would prevent them from canceling in the event of an earthquake or a terrorist attack hitting their planned destination. From the wide range of reported preventative measures, several broad themes emerged, the two most frequent of which are: guarantee of safety and provision of up-to-date safety information. Certain markets, such as the Visiting Friends and Relatives Market, emerge as being more “immune” against cancellations in the aftermath of a natural disaster than other segments, making them particular suitable market segments to target during the destination recovery stage. The qualitative setting led to new avenues for destination recovery including involvement of residents in destination recovery using peer-to-peer networks.

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How to prevent tourists from canceling when a disaster hits the destination: promising measures, crisis-resistant target segment and leveraging peer-to-peer networks.

Natural disasters and terrorism that hit tourist destinations can negatively affect tourism demand. The drop in tourism demand following crises is specifically critical to tourism dependent economies. To reduce the negative effect of such events, preventative measures have to be implemented by tourist destinations. Using open-ended questions, the present study directly asks tourists what measures would prevent them from canceling in the event of an earthquake or a terrorist attack hitting their planned destination. From the wide range of reported preventative measures, several broad themes emerged, the two most frequent of which are: guarantee of safety and provision of up-to-date safety information. Certain markets, such as the Visiting Friends and Relatives Market, emerge as being more “immune” against cancellations in the aftermath of a natural disaster than other segments, making them particular suitable market segments to target during the destination recovery stage. The qualitative setting led to new avenues for destination recovery including involvement of residents in destination recovery using peer-to-peer networks.