Stay or travel? Spatial heterogeneity impact of air pollution on travel intention

Xianting Cao, Honglei Zhang, Mengqing Wang, Xiao Xiao, Yang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Air pollution help shape people's travel preferences and behaviour, and when facing air pollution, individuals may consider travelling out for a short or long time as a coping strategy. We apply a Geographically Weighted Negative Binomial Regression (GWNBR) to analyze the effects of air pollution on people's travel intentions from origins. Our research covers 332 prefecture-level cities across China and collects daily air quality index (AQI), the Baidu indexes of ‘tourism’, and weather data from 2015 and 2018. The results show that AQI is positively associated with people's willingness to travel, and the long-term threat of air deterioration will strengthen people's willingness to flee. We estimate a series of GWNBR models with different air pollutants and cities with varying levels of air quality. The distribution of GWNBR regression results shows a more obvious strip characteristic, with coefficients of AQI in most cities are positive. Residents in cities with better air quality are more sensitive to air deterioration, compared with the residents in heavily polluted cities, who demonstrate a higher tolerance to air pollution. Finally, we provide the theoretical and practical implications of these effects on tourism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1064-1077
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2024


  • Air quality
  • Baidu index
  • geographically weighted negative binomial regression
  • spatial heterogeneity
  • travel intention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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