Unlike the mainstream research conducted on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on both large-scale tourism and hospitality firms, and also at the destination level, the current study focused on home-based accommodations in Iran which have experienced rapid development throughout the country. In-depth interviews with a number (n = 45) of such accommodation operators revealed that due to their perceived high vulnerability to the pandemic and self-protection, they adopted “untact hospitality”, thereby decreasing their direct interaction with guests. Looking through the lens of Protection Motivation Theory, four main themes were explored: motivations to work in the hospitality industry; local accommodation operators' perception of threat; coping appraisal; and protection behavior intention. The results revealed that many local ventures were unable to survive, leading to the bankruptcy of such units throughout the country. With few exceptions, the public sector's responses to the pandemic, and the hospitality sector's measures, were generally unsuccessful in managing the health crisis. The current study contributes to the risk, crisis preparation and crisis management of hospitality organizations at the local level in the context of their health protection motivation behavior.
- COVID-19 pandemic
- Local home-based accommodations (LHAs)
- Protection Motivation Theory (PMT)
- Risk perception
- Untact hospitality
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management