Title: Travel safety concerns: feedback from international students in the USA

Authors: Ying Lu; Xiaoxiao Fu; Howard Adler

Addresses: Hospitality Management and Tourism, School of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Kentucky, 121 Erikson Hall, Lexington, Kentucky, 40506, USA ' School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University, 900 W State St. West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA ' School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University, 900 W State St., West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA

Abstract: The purpose of the study was to understand the travel safety concerns of international students in the USA and how the concerns influence their travel decision-makings. Through the analysis of textual data from 20 in-depth interviews, the study unearthed major safety concerns of international students in the USA. Results showed that the students demonstrated various safety concerns about transportation, accommodation, food and beverages, other travellers and selection of destinations. The students make a conscious effort to estimate risks and protect the physical body in an unfamiliar physical and cultural environment. They also use existing cultural beliefs and knowledge about destinations to determine if a place is either safe or risky to visit. The study yields theoretical implications for travel safety studies and practical ones for the travel and tourism industry.

Keywords: travel safety; student travel; international students; USA; United States; travel industry; tourism industry; travel decision making; transport; accommodation; food and drink; fellow travellers; destination selection; cultural beliefs; culture.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2014.059838

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2014 Vol.3 No.3, pp.211 - 226

Available online: 16 Mar 2014 *

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