Crowding is a critical determinant of consumers' satisfaction with and preferences for different shopping and travel situations. When considering a selection of travel and hospitality options, travelers are influenced by perceived crowding. This research examined how the current health crisis (i.e., the COVID-19 pandemic) affects travelers’ preferences for crowded and non-crowded options. Specifically, we predicted that travelers would have a diminished preference for crowded (vs. non-crowded) travel and hospitality options when the ongoing pandemic is salient. We demonstrated that the primary effect of the salience of the threat was persistent across different travel categories and contexts. We also found that travelers with high levels of sensation seeking and a high need for uniqueness show the opposite pattern, suggesting a possible recovery strategy from the pandemic. Five experimental studies provide several theoretical and managerial implications for travel and hospitality business marketers.
- Need for uniqueness
- Sensation seeking
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
- Strategy and Management