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Understanding tourists' policing attitudes and travel intentions towards a destination during an ongoing social movement

Michael T.H. Lai (Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, China)
Emmy Yeung (Department of Marketing, Tourism and Destinations, University of Chester, Chester, UK)
Rosanna Leung (Department of International Tourism and Hospitality, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights

ISSN: 2514-9792

Article publication date: 11 May 2022




Policing activities aim to provide a safe environment for tourists. With the recent major protests that have erupted around the world, and the novel use of excessive police force against protestors, people may wonder if the policing deployment is for destination safety or to deter tourists from visiting. This paper aims to investigate anti-police and pro-police attitudes and tourists' behavioural responses towards a popular destination experiencing an ongoing social movement.


Data were collected between December 2019 and January 2020 (during the social movement). An online survey with a snowball sampling method was adopted to reach international tourists who were aware of the social movement in Hong Kong.


The results revealed that an individual with an anti-police attitude was found to be related to cognitive and affective destination images and perceived risks while those holding a pro-police attitude were more concerned with destination images only. No significant correlation was found between attitudes towards policing and travel intention.


This research presents a first attempt to investigate the relationship between tourists' policing attitudes and their behavioural responses during an ongoing social movement in a popular destination city.



The authors would like to thank Dr Liam Morris for editing our paper, and the four anonymous reviewers for their insightful suggestions that help us enhanced the quality of the paper.


Lai, M.T.H., Yeung, E. and Leung, R. (2022), "Understanding tourists' policing attitudes and travel intentions towards a destination during an ongoing social movement", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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