Tourists' perceived safety through emotional solidarity with residents in two Mexico-United States border regions
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Security and safety are extremely important for travelers and the tourism industry. One construct that has remained largely unexplored in explaining visitors' perceived safety while at the destination is their level of emotional solidarity (positive sentiments one feels for another) with destination residents. The purpose of this paper is to examine tourists' perceived safety in two popular tourism destinations in Texas along the Mexico-U.S. border (i.e., the Lower Rio Grande Valley and the Big Bend area) and investigate the extent to which tourists' emotional solidarity with residents predicts their perceptions of safety. Perceptions of safety were higher among visitors to the Big Bend area than they were among visitors to the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Also, visitors high in emotional solidarity (particularly to a dimension pertaining to feeling welcomed) also perceived the tourism destination as relatively safe. Theoretical and practical implications are provided. 2014 Elsevier Ltd.