The Economist (2017) estimated that the last five decades witnessed a substantial increase in the number of crises occurring around the world each year. This increase makes effective crisis communication strategies critical for destination management and marketing, which is hinged on a sound understanding of how audience members interpret the meaning of and respond to media content in the news. Destination risk perception has been well documented in tourism literature; however, there is little research regarding the contingent effects of media. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation is to identify how the media influences the direct and indirect relationships between destination risk perception, information-seeking and avoiding behaviors, and destination loyalty (the likelihood to recommend and likelihood to visit) with the conditional effect of optimism bias. This dissertation employed a 2 x 3 between-subjects factorial posttest-only quasi-experimental design with a randomized online sample, with six distinct conditions and a control group. A conceptual framework was developed to help explain the effect of the modeled relationships. Data were analyzed using Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM). Findings showed that destination risk perception had a negative effect on destination loyalty, and information avoiding was found to partially mediate the effect of destination risk perception on destination loyalty. Also, the contingency effects of the risk type and crisis communication media effects each played a role in explaining the outcomes of destination risk perception. The present study offers important theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, the current research adds to the limited knowledge of media effects on a tourist's destination risk perception and subsequent tourist behaviors, while also filling the gap for crisis communication media effects of news framing theory. Practically, DMOs must understand how tourists interpret and react to media; therefore, best practices and solutions to implement an adequate crisis communication plan are suggested.


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Graduation Date





Tasci, Asli


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Degree Program

Hospitality Management




CFE0008262; DP0023616





Release Date


Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Restricted to the UCF community until 8-15-2025; it will then be open access.