Examining international food travelers' engagement in behaviors to protect themselves from foodborne illnesses while abroad

Ashley Schroeder, Lori Pennington-Gray, Laura Mandala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In recent times, food travel has continued to gain in popularity and food and beverage activities are an important consideration for travelers. According to World Food Travel Association (WFTA), more than 9 in 10 travelers are now considered to be food travelers because they have participated in a "food or beverage experience other than dining out, at some point in the past 12 months." At the same time, travelers are an at-risk population for foodborne illnesses due to their tendency to eat out and experience local gastronomy. While health care providers and tourism service providers can and should advise travelers on ways to mitigate foodborne risks, it is ultimately the responsibility of travelers to protect themselves. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to investigate antecedents of food travelers' engagement in personal protective behaviors (PPBs) related to foodborne illnesses during two phases of the travel experience: prior to and during travel. The independent variables were the extent of prior international travel experience, prior experience with foodborne illnesses, concerns about food safety, and food safety and foodborne illness risk perceptions. Data were collected via an online panel of food travelers from the US who had traveled outside of the country at least once in their lifetime (n = 758). Results revealed that concerns about food safety were antecedents of engagement in all five PPBs. Risk perceptions were antecedents of engagement in the during travel PPBs. The extent of prior international travel experience and prior experience with foodborne illnesses were inconsistent antecedents. The first two findings suggest that cognition (in terms of risk perceptions) is a driver of engagement in PPBs during travel and affect (in terms of concerns) is a driver of engagement in PPBs prior to and during travel. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-227
Number of pages15
JournalTourism Review International
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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