Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the hotel sector has engaged in various corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to show solidarity with local communities. Our research examines the impact of such initiatives on tourists’ intentions to spread positive word-of-mouth (WOM) and their intentions to visit when the current pandemic ends. Our experimental results suggest community support in the form of providing free accommodation to homeless people increases tourists’ intentions to spread positive WOM, bringing reputational benefits. But such initiatives reduce tourists’ intentions to visit, presenting potential business risks. Our results further suggest that community support in the form of providing free accommodation to medical professionals has little impact, as it shows no significant difference to control (no CSR initiatives).
- corporate social responsibility (CSR); crisis management; experimental studies; COVID-19