Assessing tourists' cognitive, emotional and behavioural reactions to an unethical destination incident

Jan Breitsohl, Brian Garrod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Citations (SciVal)
210 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Studies of how people react to scandals in the tourism industry are scarce. Based on an online survey (n=1350) and grounded in cognitive appraisal theory, this study examines people’s reactions to a hypothetical breach of ethics at a tourism destination. Results from a structural equation model suggest that the more severe the scandal and the greater the attribution of responsibility to agencies within the destination, the more likely it is that an individual will develop hostile emotions toward the destination. The tourist may then decide to avoid the incident emotionally or to spread negative word of mouth (WOM) about it. The study also highlights the importance of a positive destination image in reducing hostile emotions during a scandal. Moreover, tourists will be more likely to re-visit a destination if they choose to avoid engaging emotionally with a scandal and less likely to do so if they spread negative WOM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-220
Number of pages12
JournalTourism Management
Volume54
Early online date01 Dec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • Crisis
  • coping strategy
  • emotions
  • cognitive appraisial
  • loyalty
  • unethical incident
  • tourist pyschology

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