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Abstract

An increasingly complex and rapidly-evolving array of risks presents one of the greatest challenges for decision-makers in all sectors, including the transport and tourism industry. The prospects of an international destination can be profoundly damaged in minutes as a result of a major outbreak of infectious disease, a natural disaster or a terrorist incident. It is therefore vital to understand the changing nature of risk and the ways that risks are perceived and understood, especially as people tend to respond to the perception of risks rather than actual risks, which means that their responses are not always rational and can even expose them to more danger.

The first part of this paper assesses the understanding of risk, and why social, cultural and psychological factors influence the response to threat, the second part looks at the application of this approach to tourism, and the third part sets out a model that can capture the relevant variables for the tourism industry.

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