Beach Visitors’ Satisfaction and Loyalty during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Protection Motivation Theory Approach



This paper aims to investigate beach visitors’ satisfaction and loyalty during the covid-19 pandemic using the Protection Motivation Theory (pmt) framework. Through interviews with beach visitors on three separate, distinct beach locations in Croatia, Primorsko-Goranska County, we identify the antecedents of beach visitor satisfaction and consequent behavioural intentions representing loyalty. A novel, combined satisfaction/importance method to investigate satisfaction with heterogenous beach types is assessed and empirically validated. Using pls-sem structural equation modelling we identified that natural beach characteristics carry the largest
impact on overall beach satisfaction and the consequent visitors’ behavioural intentions of recommendation and revisit. Furthermore, we find that beach occupancy has no significant impact on overall satisfaction. Lastly, we demonstrate that fear and risk of covid-19 moderate the relationship between visitors‘ satisfaction with beach facilities and their overall experience satisfaction with the beach. Satisfaction with the overall experience at the beach significantly affects the intentions of recommendation and revisit. This study investigates beach visitors’ satisfaction and loyalty under the covid-19 pandemic conditions. We employed the pmt to obtain a
deeper understanding of beach visitors’ preferences during the pandemic. Our results provide recommendations for management and future research.

Keywords: beach visitors, satisfaction, loyalty, covid-19, protection motivation theory

Author Biographies

Damir Magaš, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management PhD student

Ph.D student

Zrinka Zadel, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management

Department of Tourism

Ph.D. Associate professor


Nikolina Šerić Honović, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management

Department of Tourism



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How to Cite

Magaš, D., Zadel, Z., & Honović, N. Šerić. (2023). Beach Visitors’ Satisfaction and Loyalty during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Protection Motivation Theory Approach. Academica Turistica - Tourism and Innovation Journal, 16(2). Retrieved from