Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify tourists' concerns about perceived risks while travelling to the Islamic Republic of Iran, investigate whether such risks are in any way mitigated by a traveler's prior experience with the Islamic destination, and determine the impact of individual factors on tourists' perceived risks. Design/methodology/approach – The study examined survey data of 258 international tourists during their visit to Isfahan, Iran. Confirmatory factor analyses and analysis of variance were utilised, in order to find measurement models for each of the constructs and to analyze the relations between these constructs and individual factors. Findings – The results reveal that visitors had concerns about physical, financial, and psychological risks. The results also show that respondent's individual characteristics such as gender, nationality, frequency of visits, and purpose of visit influenced their perceptions of risk. However, age and length of stay did not have significant impact on perceptions of risk. Respondents visiting friends and relatives were more likely to perceive Iran as safer than those on business or holiday. In addition, repeat travelers tended to have a more realistic perception about risks than did first‐time travelers. The study's findings add to the literature by offering more insight on tourist perceptions of risk in travelling to Islamic destinations. Research limitations/implications – Sampling was one of the limitations identified in this study. The fact that convenience sampling was used meant that results were not immediately transferable to other Islamic destinations. The study could be replicated at other visitor attractions in Islamic destinations perceived to have high risks, in order to gain insight into the effects of perceived risk on visitation and visitor behaviour. Originality/value – The contribution of the research is to broaden the understanding of tourists' concerns in travelling to Islamic destinations and the role frequency of visits, gender, nationality, and purpose of visit play for marketers when providing inbound tourists with facilities.
Journal of Islamic Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 22, 2012
Keywords: Iran; Tourism management; Travel; Consumer risk; Islam; Perceived risk; Islamic destinations