This paper analyzes the moderating role of negative emotions triggered during the COVID-19 crisis on intentions to visit and willingness to recommend a destination in order to extend theoretical knowledge on emotions in the tourism field and to offer practical recommendations for tourism marketing managers. It is argued that the negative basic emotions automatically triggered by the crisis will moderate the effect of emotions elicited by cognitive evaluations about a destination. Specifically, we empirically found that anger moderates the effect of admiration on both intentions to visit and intentions to engage in positive word-of-mouth. By analyzing the different appraisal tendencies and types of emotions, we provide specific recommendations for marketing strategies and market segmentation. The paper opts for an experimental method conducted in a developing country assessing basic emotions using facial recognition. It is further recommended that managers take into account individual emotional states of their target audiences in order to specify the type of message in tourism marketing campaigns. Future research should empirically investigate the moderating role of consumer predispositions or personality characteristics in order to provide more specific patterns of the effects of emotions in tourists’ behavior.