COVID-19 and Travel Behavior Changes in the Recovery Period of Pandemic in China: A Mixed Method Approach

Authors: Miaoxi Qiu*, Arizona State University; Hainan University, Xuecong Fan, Arizona State University; Hainan University, Junyu Lu, Arizona State University
Topics: Tourism Geography, Health and Medical, Recreational and Sport Geography
Keywords: Travel behaviors, COVID-19, Mixed Method, Risk Perception
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 36
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In order to control the spread of the COVID-19, China adopted unprecedented Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) (e.g., social distancing, travel restrictions, event cancellation, etc.) in 2020 to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus. The COVID-19 has suddenly halted the tourism industry in China. However, due to strict NPIs, the COVID-19 has been well under control since April 2020 in China and the tourism industry gradually recover, although there still exists sporadic cases and imported cases. China entered into a special and unique recovering period that is distinct from other countries who are still undergoing huge impact from the COVID-19. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel behavior of Chinese residents and their perception about traveling in the special period. For this purpose, we used mixed method by combining quantitative data and qualitative data. A total of 1350 responses were collected through online questionnaires and 32 Chinese residents were interviewed, including questions about travel frequency, willingness to travel, destination type, and risk perception during the pandemic. This study reveals that Chinese residents have significant changes in many aspects of travel behaviors due to risk perceptions associated with COVID-19. It provides a quick understanding on changes in Chinese residents’ travel behavior and their confidence in future travel plan due to the impact of COVID-19. The outcome of this study can guide policy-making for the recovery of tourism industry in the post-pandemic era based on people’s travel needs and confidence.

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