Has COVID-19 changed tourist destination choice?

Hanyuan Zhang, Richard T.R. Qiu, Long Wen, Haiyan Song, Chang Liu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study investigates changes in tourists' preferences for destination choice in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic using a scenario-based intertemporal hybrid choice model. The empirical results indicate that tourists emphasized medical services, hygiene conditions, and smart tourism when selecting tourist destinations during the pandemic but were more concerned with attractions and service quality when the pandemic eased. The preference structure at various stages of the pandemic differed greatly for tourists who strongly engaged in counterfactual thinking. Individuals who perceived increased risks tended to select alternative destinations to those they had previously visited. The results also show that tourist choice behavior in this context can be explained by reference dependence and loss aversion as underlined by prospect theory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103680
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Counterfactual thinking
  • Destination choice
  • Hybrid choice
  • Prospect theory
  • Risk perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Marketing


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