What is it about?

In one of the darkest moments in our collective history, one would expect shared sentiments, solidarity of purpose and cooperation among peoples of all nations to defeat the “demon” (COVID-19 virus) that haunts every one of us. But blame game and finger-pointing are dividing the world into us and them. This study analyzes why we are getting hostile instead of embracing one another in our dark times using tourism context. We find that our need to avoid infection reinforces negative beliefs we have of others, making us treat them badly.

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Why is it important?

Recognizing why we have certain behaviors allows us to change the why to produce desirable outcomes. So, knowing that our fear of infection leads to negative perceptions of people who are different from us should give us a pause anytime we catch ourselves thinking these people are like this or that. It may simply be our evolved fear of infection talking to us. Then, we can realistically tell if we are, indeed, in danger of infection and act appropriately.


Stories of mistreatment flooded our news feed at the start of the pandemic concerning violent attacks on people of Asian descent in Western nations and the eviction of Africans from their homes in Guangzhou. These pieces of news were heartbreaking. But whilst the evictions stopped with time, the violent attacks soared in the West. This research was therefore undertaken to uncover some of the psychological mechanisms that promote these violent behaviors. It is my believe that the findings of this research will contribute to shaping the discussion on how best to address the attacks on people of Asian descent triggered by the pandemic.

Collins Opoku Antwi
Zhejiang Normal University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Sustainable cross-border tourism management: COVID-19 avoidance motive on resident hospitality, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, May 2022, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2022.2069787.
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