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Abstract

Tourism is a lucrative business, and Swiss hotels rely heavily on international clientele to book their rooms. The Coronavirus pandemic has halted travel and hotel stays from March to June 2020. Based on Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT), this paper investigates the messages Swiss hotels have posted on their official websites and Facebook pages to reassure guests that it is safe to book rooms in Switzerland again. The findings from 73 independent 4 and 5-star hotels show that most hotels did not publish messages regarding the Coronavirus or the measures they have taken; instead, the hotels posted positive messages about reopening their rooms and services. Official hotel websites emphasized deals and offers while the Facebook pages concentrated on enthusiastic ‘welcome back’ messages. The findings presented here contribute to the literature by offering the first results of a larger project on communication during the de-confinement stage of a pandemic.

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