Evolving effects of COVID-19 safety precaution expectations, risk avoidance, and socio- demographics factors on customer hesitation towards patronizing restaurants and hotels

Christina G. Chi*, Yuksel Ekinci, Haywantee Ramkissoon, Alistair Thorpe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has had detrimental impacts on hospitality businesses. Drawing on protection motivation theory (PMT), this study investigated what determined customer hesitation to patronize restaurants and hotels and whether such hesitation underwent changes in the duration of the pandemic. The research model was tested using three sets of survey data collected in December 2020 (n=826), February 2021 (n=832) and April 2021 (n=808). The study found that expected COVID-19 safety precautions, COVID-19 risk avoidance, and demographic factors predicted customers’ hesitation to visit restaurant/hotel. The analysis also showed significant shifts in how expectations about safety precautions, risk avoidance, and demographics affected customers’ visit hesitation over time. These findings provide critical insights to restaurant and hotel managers and destination marketers. To ensure that customers feel safe and confident in visiting hotels and restaurants, managers should implement the recommended safety measures and clearly communicate the implementation of these measures to customers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Hospitality Marketing and Management
Early online date8 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 8 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • evolving behavior
  • customers' safety precaution expectations
  • risk avoidance
  • visit hesitation
  • dine-out hesitation

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