Characteristics and behaviors of anti-gun and pro-gun travelers

Sevil Sönmez (University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Asli D.A. Tasci (Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Publication date: 5 October 2019



Despite ample attention to perceived risk and its consequences on tourist behavior, characteristics of travelers who are anti-gun or pro-gun have received little attention in tourism literature. This study aims to investigate anti-gun and pro-gun attitudes and their correlates for Florida, a state with relatively relaxed gun laws as well as significant tourism activity.


Qualtrics survey design tools were used to design a structured questionnaire, which was then administered to a random sample of registered survey takers on MTurk. A total of 1,692 cases were analyzed with SPSS Version 24.0.


Results revealed that gender, education level, ethnicity, visitor experience, and personality traits of emotion-based decision-making and risk-seeking influence travelers’ tendency for anti-gun or pro-gun attitudes toward Florida as a destination. In turn, these attitudes were found to be related to perception of risks in Florida, its perceived safety and desirability as a travel destination and visitor satisfaction and likelihood of repeat visitation.


Leniency in gun laws has been a concern for the safety in the USA for local residents and tourists alike; however, there is a lack of attention on the characteristics of anti-gun and pro-gun individuals and their likely behavior related to a tourist destination with relaxed gun laws. Thus, the current study investigated who are likely to be anti-gun or pro-gun and what are their likely behaviors towards such a destination, Florida in the USA. The current study initiates this dialogue to explore uncharted territory in tourism research.



The authors owe special thanks to Rosen College of Hospitality Management for the Research Grant that made this study possible. In addition, the authors owe special thanks to the editor and reviewers of Tourism Review for the efficient review process and insightful suggestions to improve the manuscript.


Sönmez, S. and Tasci, A. (2019), "Characteristics and behaviors of anti-gun and pro-gun travelers", Tourism Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

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