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Understanding accommodation managers' crisis planning intention: An application of the theory of planned behaviour


Over the past few decades, the tourism industry has been seriously undermined by a growing lack of safety and security caused by crime, terrorism, food safety, health issues and natural disasters. Despite the increasing negative impacts that crises are having on the accommodation industry, it has been observed that accommodation management’s capability and ability to deal with crises are limited.

This study focuses on the psychological factors influencing managers’ crisis planning behaviour in the accommodation industry in Australia. The study examined:

  • The level and nature of crisis planning in the Australian accommodation industry
  • The influence of attitudes, social norms (reference group pressure), and constraints (such as time, money etc) on crisis planning.
  • The influence of past experience on crisis planning.

Key findings

  • Three individual factors (attitude, subjective norms or peer pressure and past crisis experience) significantly influence crisis planning behaviour in the accommodation industry in Australia.
  • Although 75% of accommodation managers reported some past crisis planning activities were undertaken in the past 12 months, the majority were compliance related and the top was only undertaken by 35% of respondents. Larger hotels were more likely to undertake crisis planning.
  • Accommodation managers’ who had positive attitudes towards crisis planning increased their intentions to undertake crisis planning.
  • When the perceived opinion of a reference group (peers, industry association, government stakeholders) on crisis planning is positive, the accommodation managers’ intention to engage in crisis planning is higher.
  • Accommodation managers who have past crisis experience show higher intentions to undertake crisis planning behaviour than those who haven’t experienced a crisis.

Implications for Practice

  • Managers and industry associations should articulate the advantages of crisis planning and provide resources, tool kits, and workshops to support attitude change and boost reference group support.
  • Managers need the support of a range of important people and organisations in order to undertake crisis planning.
  • Supervisors, peers, industry associations and government all have a role to play in shaping social norms and attitudes which ultimately influence crisis planning.
  • Top management needs to articulate the importance of crisis planning by embedding it in strategic plans and including it as a core competency and key performance indicator of managers.
  • Tourism associations in particular could play a role in changing attitudes through the provision of tool kits and resources demonstrating the advantages and importance of crisis planning.
  • Workshops may be important to enable the sharing of crisis experiences between operators, as these results demonstrate that past experience has an influence on crisis planning.


Publication details


Publication Title:



Understanding accommodation managers' crisis planning intention: An application of the theory of planned behaviour

Full Publication Reference:

Tourism Management (2012), 33 5: 1057-1067.


Publication Author or Authors:


Jie Wang and Brent W. Ritchie

Proposed by


Brent Ritchie


07 3346 7308



Associate Professor


University of Queensland