Summer vacation season is quickly approaching, but what will that look like in a country so deeply affected by COVID-19? As states reopen and vacation destinations begin welcoming visitors, the question remains as to how travelers – and the businesses they financially support – perceive the risk associated with summer travel.
Becky Liu-Lastres, assistant professor in the Department of Tourism, Event, and Sport Management at IUPUI’s School of Health & Human Sciences, is available to talk about COVID-19’s potential impact on vacations this summer, particularly how tourists will make travel decisions based on their perceived risk and how that affects small businesses in particular.
“Just like 9/11, COVID-19 isn’t something we saw coming and it affects people’s perceptions and behaviors in many ways,” Liu-Lastres said. “Now that people are more comfortable wearing masks and enforcing social distancing, we may expect a small increase in domestic travel but in a careful way, with people and businesses thinking through best ways to protect themselves in riskier situations.”
Liu-Lastres is an expert in crisis management in the tourism and hospitality industry. Her research interests include tourist safety and security, social media in tourism and hospitality, and tourism management. Her research agenda aims to promote safe travel and to ensure the health and well-being of tourists, organizations, and other key stakeholders within the tourism and hospitality industry.