This study investigates tourists' risk perception towards a risky destination. The eastern coast of Sabah, Malaysia was chosen as the study site for its recent high-risk status as a result of a series of abductions and political turmoil. Using t-test and partial least squares-structural equation modelling analysis, the impacts of travel experience, prior experience with risk, travel motivation, novelty preference, gender, age, and nationality on tourists' risk perception were examined. The results of this study indicate that tourists do perceive Sabah's eastern coast to be high risk but this negative perception of Sabah's eastern coast as a marine destination does not affect their perception of other coastal areas in Malaysia – tourists remain optimistic of other coastal areas within Malaysia. The effects of various determinants on risk perception are reported. The study has provided timely analysis and implications to the tourism industry in Sabah, which can also serve as a reference to destinations with similar risk background. © 2015, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.
- marine destination
- partial least squares-structural equation modelling
- Risk perception