Exploring Diverse Sources of Linguistic Influence on International Tourism Flows

Usman Khalid, Luke Emeka Okafor, Olajide Idris Sanusi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This study uses a gravity framework to explore the impact of diverse sources of linguistic influence on international tourism flows. The diverse sources of linguistic influence are captured using a common language index derived from a common native language, a common official language, and linguistic proximity. Our results reveal that linguistic factors as captured by common language index promote international tourism flows. The positive impact of linguistic ties on tourism flows is not only observed in the country-pairs that share an official language, it is also found in pairs that share unofficial native languages, that contain minority groups united by a common language, or that use closely related languages—all features captured by the language index. The analysis demonstrates that an index of common language is methodologically superior to other measures of linguistic similarity, including the dummy variable for a common official language that currently dominates the international tourism literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-714
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • common language index
  • common native language
  • gravity model
  • international tourism
  • linguistic proximity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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