How the Refugee Crisis Impacts the Decision Structure of Tourists: A Crosscountry Scenario Study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The current refugee crisis has broad ramifications for societies. In the domain of tourism, such socio-political or human-made disasters raise questions about security, but may also affect perceptions of a destination's openness and hospitality. This paper discusses the relative importance of security and openness in terms of destination image and the willingness to visit a place affected by the refugee crisis. In an online scenario study, we studied these effects and explored country differences for four different countries (Austria, Germany, UK and USA; N = 2612) in this regards. Our results show that the perceived security of a place becomes a stronger predictor for destination choice during a crisis. Yet, contrary to our assumption, a crisis decreases the importance of a place's perceived openness. Thus, our study raises doubts that the refugee crisis benefits tourism by providing an opportunity to show openness and hospitality – as some researchers and practitioners had hoped.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTourism Management
Pages (from-to)197-212
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Published online: 20. October 2018


  • Crisis
  • Refugee crisis
  • Munich
  • Tourism behavior
  • Destination image
  • Perceived security
  • Perceived openness
  • Cross-cultural study

Cite this