Perceived risk and the non-institutionalized tourist role: The case of Israeli student ex-backpackers

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226 Scopus citations


While backpacking is often associated with a propensity for risk-taking, the literature lacks quantitative analyses of backpackers' perceived risk. The current study attempts to fill this gap by exploring risk perceptions of 579 Israeli students who were backpackers. The study findings indicate that perceived risk of the backpackers' experience is a multidimensional phenomenon, which includes factors of risk similar to those mentioned in both the consumer behavior literature and in studies on perceived risk in tourism. This finding supports the thesis that backpacking is becoming more institutionalized and less distinct from conventional mass tourism. In addition, the study reveals that perceptions of risk involved in the backpacking experience vary across the individual's characteristics, such as gender, past backpacking experience, and preference for fellow travelers. This is congruent with the contemporary notion of backpacking as a heterogeneous tourist experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-226
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Backpacking experience
  • Israeli backpackers
  • Perceived risk
  • Risk-taking propensity
  • Youth traveling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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