Although the constructs of country image and destination image are useful in predicting tourists’ travel intentions as evidenced by prior research, less academic attention has been paid to the role of the media in tourism literature, especially to negative or misleading media coverage. Due to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Wuhan city, China has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization. Since then, the widespread disease has filled major international media channels. However, a large proportion of media coverage surrounding COVID-19 has negatively affected China’s destination image and potential visitors’ travel intentions due to headlines such as ‘Chinese virus pandemonium’. Such language may diminish tourists’ intentions to visit China and tarnish the country’s image. By proposing an image model, we delineate a direct association between China’s country image, destination image, and travel intention in this article. We further consider misleading media coverage as a moderating role in this relationship. Academic and practical implications are also discussed based on the proposed framework.


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Yang, S., Mohd Isa, S. & Ramayah, T. 2021, 'How are destination image and travel intention influenced by misleading media coverage? Consequences of COVID-19 outbreak in China', Vision. https://doi.org/10.1177/0972262921993245

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Last updated: 17 June 2022
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