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Karl, Marion and Mansfeld, Yoel (2021): Spatial Differentiation in Risk Perception and its Impact on Travel Decisions: An Exploratory Study on the Geo-Familiarity with Israel Among German Residents. In: Tourism, Vol. 69, No. 3: pp. 330-345

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This exploratory study adopts a multi-dimensional approach to research on how travel-related risk perceptions are formed. It looks at risk-inducing factors both from the tourist and the destination perspectives. Using predefined risk characteristics observed in the literature, the study's leading research question asked to what extent these individual risk factors influence tourists' risk perception. A sample of potential German tourists to Israel was used for this exploratory study. Each interviewee was asked to indicate his/her socio-cultural background, travel experience at different spatial levels, risk-taking personality, level of perceiving Israel as a risky destination, and willingness to travel to Israel. Results show that accumulated travel experience does have a bearing on German tourists' willingness to travel to destinations that carry a high risk image but does not affect the perceived level of risk. Using the concept of geo-familiarity, the study discovered that risk perception may not only be developed on a country destination level but may be different based on spatial perception of risk. Based on these results, the study draws several risk-management and marketing strategies.

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