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COVID-19 confines recreational gatherings in Seoul to familiar, less crowded, and neighboring urban areas

Yoon, Jisung / Jung, Woo-Sung / Kim, Hyunuk

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Abstract

Recreational gatherings are sources of the spread of infectious diseases. Understanding the dynamics of recreational gatherings is essential to building effective public health policies but challenging as the interaction between people and recreational places is complex. Recreational activities are concentrated in a set of urban areas and establish a recreational hierarchy. In this hierarchy, higher-level regions attract more people than lower-level regions for recreational purposes. Here, using customers’ motel booking records which are highly associated with recreational activities in Korea, we identify that recreational hierarchy, geographical distance, and attachment to a location are crucial factors of recreational gatherings in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Our analyses show that after the COVID-19 outbreak, people are more likely to visit familiar recreational places, avoid the highest level of the recreational hierarchy, and travel close distances. Interestingly, the recreational visitations were reduced not only in the highest but also in low-level regions. Urban areas at low levels of the recreational hierarchy were more severely affected by COVID-19 than urban areas at high and middle levels of the recreational hierarchy.

Issue Date
2022-12
Publisher
PALGRAVE MACMILLAN LTD
Journal Title
Humanities & Social Sciences Communications
ISSN
2662-9992
Language
English
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