Jellyfish risk communications: The effect on risk perception, travel intentions and behaviour, and beach tourism destinations

Crowley-Cyr, Lynda ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9954-9540 and Gershwin, Lisa-ann and Bremser, Kerstin and Abraham, Villy and Moreno-Martin, Maria J. and Carreno, Mercedes and Wust, Kirsten (2022) Jellyfish risk communications: The effect on risk perception, travel intentions and behaviour, and beach tourism destinations. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 51. pp. 196-206. ISSN 1447-6770


Abstract

Jellyfish hazards at 3S destinations are underrepresented in tourism research. Using a novel conceptual model based on risk perception and destination image theories, we used an experimental setting to examine whether different types of jellyfish risk messages influenced people's travel intentions and behaviours. In addition, the study tested the influence of worry and culture. We sampled 415 prospective visitors to two of the world's most successful beach tourism destinations, the Costa Brava coastline of Spain and the Great Barrier Reef region of northern Australia, both adversely affected by the presence of jellyfish. At these unique destinations, contact with jellyfish can be painful and deadly. Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, fictitious vignettes were posted on an internet Travel Forum containing two different jellyfish risk messages, one informal and the other official. Participants' responses to these communications were tested. We found that risk messages influenced destination image but not travel intention. People from risk-averse Germanic European countries were more inclined to alter their behaviour by avoiding the water than other cultures. These findings add to the body of knowledge about the relationship between risk communications, risk perceptions and destination image. This study suggests that wildlife-associated risk communications can influence people's risk perceptions, but not sufficiently to change their travel plans. This knowledge is important in policy-making and managing responses to risk at tourism destinations. It is also important in building visitor trust and confidence, whereby tourists know that their safety and enjoyment are valued and are paramount to the destination.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice (1 Jul 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2022 04:29
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2022 04:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: Beach tourism destination; Jellyfish; Risk communication; Risk perception; Travel intention
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420604 Injury prevention
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 11 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 1104 Tourism services > 110402 Socio-cultural issues in tourism
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhtm.2022.03.002
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/47650

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