Does Distance Still Matter? Moderating Effects of Distance Measures on the Relationship Between Pandemic Severity and Bilateral Tourism Demand

Yang Yang, Linjia Zhang*, Laurie Wu, Zhenlong Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the moderating effects of various distance measures on the relationship between relative pandemic severity and bilateral tourism demand. After confirming its validity using actual hotel and air demand measures, we leveraged data from Google Destination Insights to understand daily bilateral tourism demand between 148 origin countries and 109 destination countries. Specifically, we estimated a series of fixed-effects panel data gravity models based on the year-over-year change in daily demand. Results show that a 10% increase in seven-day smoothed COVID-19 cases led to a 0.0658% decline in year-over-year demand change. The moderating distance measures include geographic, cultural, economic, social, and political distance. Results show that long-haul tourism demand was less affected by a destination’s pandemic severity relative to tourists’ place of origin. The moderating effect of national cultural dimensions indulgence versus constraints was also confirmed. Lastly, a discussion and implications for international destination marketing are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-625
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Hofstede’s cultural dimensions
  • distance factors
  • international tourism demand
  • pandemic severity
  • panel data gravity model

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