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Does COVID-19 Affect Safety and Security Perception in the Hospitality Industry? A Romanian Case Study


  • Silviu Gabriel Szentesi

    (Department of Economic Disciplines, Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad, 310130 Arad, Romania)

  • Lavinia Denisia Cuc

    (Department of Economic Disciplines, Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad, 310130 Arad, Romania)

  • Andrea Feher

    (Department of Economy and Firm Financing, Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine “King Michael I of Romania” from Timisoara, 300645 Timisoara, Romania)

  • Paul Nichita Cuc

    (Department of Statistical Science, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK)


The objective of the article is to analyze, based on social exchange theory, the different risk and safety perceptions of employees and customers in the hospitality industry regarding the protections against the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in an emerging market, namely in Romania. To this end, a questionnaire was administered simultaneously to both categories in Romanian hospitality units obtaining a sample of 561 employees and customers in the sector. While the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 virus has generated a lot of diverse research, studies focused on this particular topic, also regarding both customers and employees, were much less exploited. Therefore, eleven working hypotheses were formulated. It was highlighted that there is a positive perception of safety at work for employees, and jobs are protected from disappearance due to the pandemic through active measures taken by the organization. Employees do not show a significant desire to change jobs due to the new working conditions. The magnitude of safety measures taken had a positive impact on the customers, and customers do not pose a significant threat in hospitality industry units regarding the possibility of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The paper enlarges the understanding of behavioral effects of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, while from a managerial perspective the results are particularly useful for hospitality industry owners in order to attract and retain employees and to communicate and develop better relations with customers.

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  • Silviu Gabriel Szentesi & Lavinia Denisia Cuc & Andrea Feher & Paul Nichita Cuc, 2021. "Does COVID-19 Affect Safety and Security Perception in the Hospitality Industry? A Romanian Case Study," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(20), pages 1-19, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:13:y:2021:i:20:p:11388-:d:656888

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