Document Type : Research Article
Associate Professor Business Management, Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Ardabil, Iran
Ph.D. Student Business Management - Marketing, Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Ardabil, Iran
The Corona crisis has had many economic, social, and psychological effects on various businesses and industries, including tourism. Many businesses and tourism businesses in covid-19 have suffered new damage. Corona has caused many people to lose their jobs and incomes. Employees and managers of the tourism industry have suffered dramatically during the Corona era. Therefore, policymakers need to consider comprehensive and mandatory measures to help employees and managers of the tourism industry. Health-related crises may directly and negatively affect tourism because corona travel can play a vital role in spreading pandemics among tourist destinations. Coronation and quarantine measures have reduced the number of tourists; even tourism in some areas has stopped entirely. Pervasive health issues such as perceived danger and fear have closed tourist destinations in many countries and left people quarantine. Perceived risks or fears are the main factors influencing travel behaviour or travel intentions in the present and future. Social media is an essential factor in crises and infectious diseases, including Covid-19. Social media also has acute effects on tourism, primarily how tourists use information. Therefore, it is suggested that tourism destinations use social media operating systems to reduce the perceived risks and fears by visitors and influence their understanding of their destination. Co-creation of value and customer interaction with the brand is essential for business-building mechanisms because it affects the potential behaviours of customers. To support this industry, marketers and tourism stakeholders can use social media in the tourism industry to influence customer interaction with the brand and increase their participation, and ultimately influence the behavioural intentions and co-creation of brand value and re-intention. Recently, many studies have focused on the tourism crisis, while a small number of studies have examined and studied the health risks associated with the corona. This study investigates the effects of social media on customer interaction with the brand and its subsequent impact on the co-creation of brand value, behavioural intention, and re-intention in the corona environment.
The present study is part of applied and descriptive-survey researches in terms of purpose and data collection method. This study seeks to describe and explain the impact of social media on customer interaction with the brand and the creation of brand value, behavioural intention, re-intention by considering the moderating role of customer perceived risk in the Covid-19 era in the tourism industry. The population of this research is the tourists of Isfahan. According to the statistics announced by the Secretariat of the Executive Headquarters of Travel Services of Isfahan Province, the number of tourists is more than 94,000, and 190 people were selected using the Cochran's formula. Research scales for measuring variables were first extracted from theoretical foundations, and then a questionnaire was designed based on the Likert scale. The questionnaire includes social media constructs (3 items), customer risk during travel in the corona era (3 items), customer interaction with the brand (3 items), co-creation of brand value (4 items), re-intention (4 items), which is taken from Raser Questionnaire (2021) and behavioural Intention (4 items) which is taken from Iron and Buck Questionnaire (2018). Then, based on the experts' opinion, the face validity and content were reviewed and approved, and available methods collected the data. In this study, content validity and construct validity were evaluated, and reliability was obtained by calculating factor loadings of Cronbach’s alpha and combined reliability, which was confirmed. Confirmatory factor analysis of structural equations modeling and Spss25 and Smart Pls2.0 software were exerted to analyze the data.
Results and discussion
Despite the dangers, threats, and effects that Corona has had on the tourism industry, the use of social media during the Corona era and even in the future can help the survival and revival of the tourism industry. The results show that social media (with a path coefficient of 1.152 and t-value = 638.6) positively and significantly affect customer interaction with the brand. And customer interaction with the brand with a path coefficient of 0.874 and t-value = 615.27 has a positive and significant effect on behavioural intention. Customer interaction with the brand with a path coefficient of 0.611 and t-value = 141.3 has a positive and significant impact on co-creation of brand value, and also customer interaction with the brand with a path coefficient of 0.721 and t-value = 042.5 has a positive and significant effect on re-intention in the corona era. Perceived risk during travel in the corona era (t-value = 2/306) can moderate the impact of social media on customer interaction with the brand.
When tourists recognize a high level of engagement, a positive impact on brand value creation is anticipated. Customers interact with the brand, which leads to the co-creation of brand value, resulting from customer interaction with the brand. Investing in social media can bring significant benefits to the tourism industry. Therefore, tourism marketers are advised to develop different marketing tactics and strategies that play an influential role in customer interaction with the brand based on social media in the tourism industry in the corona era. Perceived customer risk can moderate the impact of social media on customer interaction with the brand. In tourism, there are perceived risks that affect the behavioural intention and the co-creation of brand value. Perceived risk is the degree of potential loss defined by the individual due to the adverse consequences of travel due to the global prevalence of Covid-19. Some perceived risks, such as health risks, political insecurity, etc., affect people's behavioural intentions and re-intention.