An Analysis of Protective Behaviors of Urban Destinations’ Residents against COVID-19 Case Study: Sarein City

Document Type : Research Article


1 Professor of Public Administration, Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Ardabil, Iran

2 PhD in Geography and Urban Planning, Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Ardabil, Iran

3 PhD student in Archeology, Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Ardabil, Iran

4 M.A of Business Management, Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Ardabil, Iran


Extended Abstract
In recent years, the global economy has seen a very significant growth of the tourism industry, but this growth and dynamism of the tourism industry has been severely disrupted by the global outbreak of Covid-19 disease, and with the imposition of extensive restrictions, tourism has virtually stopped. And the impact of the Corona epidemic has pushed tourism to a complete halt. In fact, the outbreak of the corona virus has disrupted the tourism destinations and livelihoods of their inhabitants more than any other. Tourism researchers have turned their attention to local communities in tourism destinations by studying the safety of tourism destinations and the incurred costs due to the cessation of tourism activities. Paying attention to this point has caused decision makers and planners of destinations to place more emphasis on faster sanitization of destinations by increasing the protective behaviors of residents. It seems that the observance of protective behaviors by residents of tourism destinations, is also influenced by factors such as psychological ones including the perception of the risk of epidemic diseases as Covid-19. Accordingly, understanding how psychological factors, such as risk perception, affect people's behavior during severe global epidemics, is important to facilitate and increase the success of disease minimization and resuscitation strategies of destinations. However, perceptions of the risk of disease in residents are not formed alone and are influenced by other factors such as people's knowledge of health and related concepts, as well as media coverage of the posed risk by the spread of epidemics. based on this view, media coverage of effective measures to combat the disease in destinations, can prepare the mentality of tourists from tourist destinations to return to the destination and also according to the subject of this research while increasing residents' knowledge of Covid-19, enhance the perceived risk of it and thus lead to appropriate protective behaviors. In line with this assumption, in the present study, the effect of media coverage on disease knowledge, perceived risk and protective behavior in Sarein residents, have been investigated.
The present study is an applied research and in terms of purpose and also it is a descriptive-analytical one in aspect of method and a questionnaire was exerted to collect information. The questions of questionnaire were designed based on five-point Likert scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The statistical population of this study was all residents of Sarein in the spring of 2020. The minimum sample size to complete the questionnaires of this study was 400 residents who were randomly selected and the questionnaire was distributed online among them. Also, in order to evaluate the research variables, questionnaires of media coverage, disease knowledge, perceived risk and protective behavior were used. Indicators of research questionnaires are taken from related studies and research background; then, based on the research conditions and the studied city, they were localized.
Results and Discussion
Considering that the value of obtained T statistic for the first hypothesis of the research is equal to 6.069 so that this value is greater than 1.96 and the first hypothesis of the research was confirmed. Also, considering that the path coefficient in this hypothesis is equal to (β = 0.520), since the obtained path coefficient is positive and this effect is direct. Also, considering that in the second hypothesis of the research, the value of T statistic obtained is 2.995 so that this value is greater than 1.96 and hypothesis was confirmed. Also, based on the obtained path coefficient that is equal to (β = 0.367), since the obtained path coefficient is positive and this effect is direct.
Also, considering that the value of the obtained T statistic is 17.688, so that this value is greater than 1.96 and the third hypothesis of the research is confirmed, and also because the obtained path coefficient is equal to (β = 0.692), since the obtained path coefficient is positive, this effect is also direct. On the other hand, since the value of obtained T statistic for the fourth hypothesis of the research is equal to 2.196, so that this value is greater than 1.96 and the fourth hypothesis of the research is confirmed. Given that the obtained path coefficient is equal to (β = 0.225), since the obtained path coefficient is positive and this effect is direct. Also, considering that the value of obtained T statistic for the fifth hypothesis of the research is equal to 5.036 so that this value is greater than 1.96 and the fifth hypothesis of the research is confirmed. In addition, because the obtained path coefficient for this hypothesis is equal to (β = 0.396), since the obtained path coefficient is positive and this effect is direct. In the end, the results indicate that the value of obtained T statistic for the sixth hypothesis of the research is equal to 9.001, so that this value is greater than 1.96 and the sixth hypothesis of the research is confirmed and also with considering that the obtained path coefficient is equal to (β = 0.640), since the obtained path coefficient is positive and this effect is direct.
The results of this study show that by increasing the perception of the risk of Covid-19 among residents of tourist destinations, they take more protective behaviors against the disease. Accordingly, by strengthening this factor, through the protective behaviors of residents, the incidence and death rate of this disease can be reduced in destinations, and while helping to revive these destinations, create a clean and healthy tourism destination image in the minds of potential tourists. Based on the results of confirming the hypotheses, it can be said that appropriate media coverage of Covid-19 in tourism destinations and its positive effect on increasing knowledge of the disease, can increase perceptions of the risk of disease and also enhance protective behaviors among residents of destinations.


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