Developing a measure for assessing tourists’ empathy towards natural disasters in the context of wine tourism and the 2017 California wildfires

Matthew J. Bauman, Jingxue Yuan, Helena A. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Many areas throughout the world are reliant on tourism in its role as a job provider and for stimulating the local economy monetarily. When natural disasters strike, negative ramifications can be overwhelming, particularly to destination image. Considering the agricultural connection of many forms of tourism (i.e. wine tourism) and the increasing prevalence of natural disasters, surprisingly little attention has been paid to tourists’ thoughts and feelings regarding destinations affected by natural disasters. This study explores the tourism implications of natural disasters contextualized in the case of the California wildfires by examining the perceptions of wine tourists (N = 600) who visited a California winery within the past two years. The research culminated in a measure for assessing tourists’ empathy towards natural disasters. Segmentation variables were used to support the measure. Qualitative analysis also revealed themes that substantiate this initial measure development and provide additional insights regarding tourists’ impressions towards destinations impacted by natural disasters. The theoretical contributions and practical implications of this research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2476-2491
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Volume23
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

Keywords

  • California wildfires
  • Natural disasters
  • destination image
  • measure development
  • tourists’ empathy
  • wine tourism

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