Jellyfish risk communications: The effect on risk perception, travel intentions and behaviour, and beach tourism destinations

Article


Crowley-Cyr, Lynda, Gershwin, Lisa-ann, Bremser, Kerstin, Abraham, Villy, Moreno-Martin, Maria J., Carreno, Mercedes and Wust, Kirsten. 2022. "Jellyfish risk communications: The effect on risk perception, travel intentions and behaviour, and beach tourism destinations." Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management. 51, pp. 196-206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhtm.2022.03.002
Article Title

Jellyfish risk communications: The effect on risk perception, travel intentions and behaviour, and beach tourism destinations

ERA Journal ID19653
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsCrowley-Cyr, Lynda (Author), Gershwin, Lisa-ann (Author), Bremser, Kerstin (Author), Abraham, Villy (Author), Moreno-Martin, Maria J. (Author), Carreno, Mercedes (Author) and Wust, Kirsten (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Journal Citation51, pp. 196-206
Number of Pages11
Year2022
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1320-5161
1447-6770
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhtm.2022.03.002
Web Address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1447677022000456
Abstract

Jellyfish hazards at 3S destinations are underrepresented in tourism research. Using a novel conceptual model based on risk perception and destination image theories, we used an experimental setting to examine whether different types of jellyfish risk messages influenced people's travel intentions and behaviours. In addition, the study tested the influence of worry and culture. We sampled 415 prospective visitors to two of the world's most successful beach tourism destinations, the Costa Brava coastline of Spain and the Great Barrier Reef region of northern Australia, both adversely affected by the presence of jellyfish. At these unique destinations, contact with jellyfish can be painful and deadly. Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, fictitious vignettes were posted on an internet Travel Forum containing two different jellyfish risk messages, one informal and the other official. Participants' responses to these communications were tested. We found that risk messages influenced destination image but not travel intention. People from risk-averse Germanic European countries were more inclined to alter their behaviour by avoiding the water than other cultures. These findings add to the body of knowledge about the relationship between risk communications, risk perceptions and destination image. This study suggests that wildlife-associated risk communications can influence people's risk perceptions, but not sufficiently to change their travel plans. This knowledge is important in policy-making and managing responses to risk at tourism destinations. It is also important in building visitor trust and confidence, whereby tourists know that their safety and enjoyment are valued and are paramount to the destination.

KeywordsBeach tourism destination; Jellyfish; Risk communication; Risk perception; Travel intention
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420604. Injury prevention
480499. Law in context not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Law and Justice
University of Tasmania
Pforzheim University, Germany
Sapir Academic College, Israel
University of the Balearic Islands, Spain
Rey Juan Carlos University, Spain
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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