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Exploring the Influence of Touch Points on Tourist Experiences at Crisis Impacted Destinations

Krey, N, tom Dieck, Mandy ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8765-8969, Wu, S and Fountoulaki, P (2021) Exploring the Influence of Touch Points on Tourist Experiences at Crisis Impacted Destinations. Journal of Travel Research. ISSN 0047-2875

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Abstract

Customer journeys in tourism are becoming more complex, often including multiple touch points that can influence expectations, experiences, and travel behaviors. The management of these different interactions is further complicated if tourist destinations face natural or man-made crises (e.g., financial crises, COVID-19). The current research takes a comprehensive look at how negative word-of-mouth (WOM) shapes pre-consumption expectations that drive actual tourist experiences and subsequent satisfaction behaviors. Using partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM), findings from 188 tourists confirm the influence of uncontrollable, negative WOM on destination image. Yet an actual, positive experience negates these negative pre-trip influences. Tourism managers are rewarded with satisfied and loyal tourists in response to creating positive experiences even at crisis impacted destinations.

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