Desire to travel ups likelihood of Covid vaccination: Study

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Wanderlust can be a powerful motivator in people’s decision to get vaccinated against Covid-19, finds a new study.

The study, published in the journal Tourism Management, indicated that people with a strong desire to travel are less likely to express concern about the vaccine’s potential side effects or long-term complications and more likely to say they would get vaccinated.

“Many people consider travel an essential part of their lifestyle and a contributor to their sense of well-being,” said lead author Dogan Gursoy from Washington State University.

“They will weigh the value of travel experiences they might miss by not being vaccinated against the vaccines’ possible risks,” Gursoy added.

Even if they think Covid-19 vaccines pose risks, they still may be willing to get vaccinated, he said.

Some popular tourism destinations, such as the European Union, require a digital Covid certificate for unrestricted travel that verifies vaccination status, a negative Covid test or recovery from the illness.

However, the study’s findings about travel desire and vaccination intention were true even for people who didn’t have upcoming vacations plans or business trips, the authors said.

Researchers surveyed 1,021 US residents who rated their travel desire on a five-point scale. Survey respondents with the highest travel desire also had the highest COVID-19 vaccination intentions, the study found.

Even among 266 survey respondents who previously said they wouldn’t get vaccinated, a strong travel desire moderated vaccine hesitancy when paired with messages about the vaccines’ safety and what individuals could lose by not getting vaccinated against Covid-19.

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