Don’t hate the players, hate the system! – The continuation of deep-rooted travel patterns in the face of shock events

B Papp, Ivar Neelis, J Heslinga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: It has been established that values, beliefs and norms are good predictors of pro-environmental behaviour; however, it is less explored how these constructs can be influenced. The purpose of this paper is to assess whether the COVID-19 pandemic, as a shock event, was a “game changer” or it had limited impacts on deep-rooted travel patterns. Design/methodology/approach: To understand whether the pandemic has influenced people’s value orientations with regards to sustainable travel, the authors have made use of the value–belief–norm (VBN)theory of environmentalism and conducted a large-scale survey in Germany, Italy, France, The Netherlands and UK (N = 1545). Findings: The findings showed that the pandemic caused only temporary change in deep-rooted travel patterns as (self-reported) pre-pandemic behaviour of respondents align with their value orientations and proved to be a good predictor of projected travel behaviour. Based on projected travel behaviour and value orientations, four market segments were identified – Frontrunners, Laggards, Comfortable Crowd and Entitled Stewards. While all segments showed willingness to adapt, the authors found variations in the extent of adaption and in the phases of the customer journey where travellers are likely to make changes. Originality/value: According to our knowledge, using the VBN theory of environmentalism to understand the impact of shock events on deep-rooted travel patterns represents a new perspective. Moreover, to the best of authors’ knowledge, this study is one of the first, written in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which looks at the impact of the health crisis on deep-rooted travel patterns, instead of the commonly studied risk perception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1647-1664
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number5
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 Feb 2023


  • Covid-19
  • sustainable tourism
  • sustainable behaviour
  • travel behaviour
  • value-behaviour gap


Dive into the research topics of 'Don’t hate the players, hate the system! – The continuation of deep-rooted travel patterns in the face of shock events'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this