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.

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Tourism Management
Erasmus School of Economics

Zenker, S., von Wallpach, S. (Sylvia), Braun, E., & Vallaster, C. (Christine). (2019). How the refugee crisis impacts the decision structure of tourists: A cross-country scenario study. Tourism Management, 71, 197–212. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2018.10.015