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A seemingly unrelated regression model of the impact of COVID-19 risk perception on urban leisure place choices

Tsolmon Bayrsaikhan, Jiwon Lee, Moon Hyun Kim, Tae-Hyoung Tommy Gim

Abstract: Due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and various restrictions, peoples’ leisure activity patterns significantly change. Thus, it is necessary to understand how people’s travel and leisure behaviors have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is still a lack of empirical evidence on how individuals’ COVID-19 risk perception influences their leisure destination choice behavior. This empirical study aims to confirm the relationship between risk perception of COVID-19 and choice of leisure destination and to explore any differences between them related to demographic characteristics. A total of 537 valid samples were used for SUR model analysis by conducting an online survey targeting citizens of the Seoul metropolitan area, Korea. Our findings show that the risk perception of COVID-19 has a significant effect on the choice of leisure places. In particular, the risk perception of COVID-19 has a positive effect on the choice of natural places, disinfected areas, and socially distanced spaces while negatively influencing the choice of crowded leisure places. In addition, age and gender are more effective factors than other control variables in COVID-19 risk perception and leisure destination choices. Furthermore, this study also provides several implications for urban leisure place planners and service providers to respond to the changing leisure activity patterns caused by COVID-19.
Keywords: COVID / behaviors / risk perception / leisure places / survey / model / choice

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