The Relationship between Crowding and Perceived Health Risk in the COVID-19 Era


  • Giorgia Profumo
  • Lara Penco
  • Sandro Castaldo



Health Risk, Crowding, Corporate Reputation, COVID-19, Hospitality and Tourism, Global Markets


The current COVID-19 pandemic, and the related social distancing policies adopted in many countries, are deeply affecting consumers’ perceptions towards crowding. This study tries to understand in particular if the perceived human and spatial crowding might increase consumers’ health risk, with an impact on intentions to buy, and if corporate reputation can reduce such impact. As tourism and hospitality is one the sectors most susceptible to the current COVID-19 health crisis, we focus our empirical study on the cruise industry. The empirical study was conducted on a sample of cruise passengers using a structured questionnaire submitted online. Overall, 447 individuals’ responses were used for understanding such relationships by performing a regression model. The results indicate that both human and spatial crowding seem to influence people’s perceived health risk, while corporate reputation does not seem to reduce such deterring impact. The study presents several managerial implications for different service industries, as in the cruise package the customer can find many different services, from restaurant to shopping. The results, in fact, may be useful for better understanding how to cope with COVID-19.




How to Cite

Profumo, G., Penco, L., & Castaldo, S. (2021). The Relationship between Crowding and Perceived Health Risk in the COVID-19 Era. Symphonya. Emerging Issues in Management, (2), 38–54.