Customers’ Behavioural Immune System Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic: A conceptual framework

Authors

  • Arthur Huang Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32819, USA. Email: arthur.huang@ucf.edu
  • Melissa Farboudi Jahromi Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32819, USA. Email: Melissa.FarboudiJahromi@ucf.edu
  • Julia Marquez Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32819, USA. Email: JuliaM09@knights.ucf.edu

Keywords:

Customer behaviour, Behavioural immune system, Aversive behaviours, COVID-19 pandemic

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed various obstacles and restrictions for the tourism and hospitality industry. This paper adopts the concept of the behavioural immune system to discuss tourism and hospitality customers’ potential behaviours during the pandemic and provide business strategies that can address these behaviours. The behavioural immune system is a motivational system that determines individuals’ behaviours to pathogen infection. First, this study introduces the mechanism of the behavioural immune system including environmental evaluation and aversive perception, aversive emotional and cognitive responses, and avoidance behaviours. It also provides examples in the guest service context to better portray the mechanism. Second, the study suggests specific measures for tourism and hospitality businesses that may help them to prevent the aversive and avoidance responses of customers triggered by their behavioural immune system during the pandemic. Then, the study integrates customers’ responses and businesses’ measures in a framework, which extends the literature on customers’ behaviour in the hospitality and tourism context. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time the concept of behavioural immune system is adopted to discuss customers’ behaviours towards tourism and hospitality services during a pandemic.

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Published

2021-10-20

How to Cite

Huang, A., Farboudi Jahromi, M., & Marquez, J. (2021). Customers’ Behavioural Immune System Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic: A conceptual framework. European Journal of Tourism Research, 30, 3015. Retrieved from https://ejtr.vumk.eu/index.php/about/article/view/2264