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Changes in tourist destination choices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Opportunity for small towns

Subject and Keywords:

small towns   tourism   city brand   place brand


The global epidemic of COVID-19 has a negative impact on one of the most important economic sectors for many countries – tourism. The current, geographically unequal restrictions imposed by governments in many countries to limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission, have disrupted the mechanisms that have so far prevailed in the tourism industry, thus directly affecting the place’s brand management strategies. The factor influencing the crisis that the tourist industry is experiencing is also the fear of travelers, causing changes in tourist behavior and thinking, which causes the need to modify the messages and the cityʼs offer. The aim of this paper is to identify changes in the choices of tourism destinations during the pandemic; presentation the concepts and considerations regarding the near future of city branding strategies during the crisis. The data presented in this paper was collected by analysis of secondary sources and a diagnostic survey conducted in March 2021, in which 248 respondents took part. The study focused on an attempt to verify the increased tourists’ interest in the offers of small towns. Based on the results of the survey, it was found that 71.4% of respondents were more interested in the tourist offer of small towns than before the pandemic, and about 60% of respondents plan to choose a small town as a tourist destination within the next six months. The conducted analyzes and research helps to better understand the expectations, needs and current choices of external recipients of tourist offers from small towns, which may contribute to the appropriate adaptation of the offer and more effective marketing messages of small towns during and after pandemic period. The last part of this paper presents ideas for future research directions developed on the basis of the collected data and conclusions.

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doi:10.34616/142089   ISBN 978-83-66601-61-1 (druk)   ISBN 978-83-66601-62-8 (online)



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Autor opisu:

WR U/PAdal