The impact of the threat of COVID-19 on visiting intentions as influenced by different destination logos

Jungkeun Kim, Jooyoung Park, Seongseop (Sam) Kim, Hector Gonzalez-Jimenez, Jae Eun Kim, Rouxelle De Villiers, Jacob C. Lee, Marilyn Giroux

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This research aims to examine the role of perceived threat (i.e. COVID-19) on people’s preferences for destination logo designs. In addition, it investigates the influence of childhood socioeconomic status (SES) and sensation seeking on the aforementioned effect. Design/methodology/approach: Five experiments are used. Studies 1 A and 1B examine the impact of the threat of COVID-19 on visiting intentions as influenced by different destination logos. Study 2 replicates the previous studies and tests for evidence of mediation by the perceived risk. Studies 3 and 4 investigate the moderating role of childhood SES and sensation seeking. Findings: The results show that a salient threat of COVID-19 leads people to display higher visiting intentions when presented with simpler (vs complex) destination logo designs. The perceived risk mediates this effect as well. This preference is evident only for people with low (vs high) childhood SES and only for relatively low sensation seekers. Research limitations/implications: This study contributes to the branding literature by investigating how situational factors can influence affective reactions to brand logos and to the tourism literature by further investigating the impact of logos on visiting intentions. Practical implications: This study provides actionable insights for tourism marketers and logo designers, allowing them to select or create positively perceived destination logos during a potential global crisis. Originality/value: This research offers the first evidence that pandemic-related threat perceptions influence people’s visiting intentions when presented with different destination logos, and that these effects are influenced by individual characteristics such as childhood SES or sensation seeking. In doing so, the current study offers a more sophisticated understanding of the potential boundary conditions driving people’s brand logo evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-767
Number of pages30
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2022


  • Brand
  • Brand logo
  • Brand management
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Destination choice
  • Logo design
  • Marketing communication
  • Perceived safety
  • Perceived threat
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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