Tourists generally prefer to visit safe destinations. However, it is rare to see safety messages in promotional materials. Does communicating safety in destination-branding campaigns matter to tourists? We use an experimental design to explore the relationship between safety messages and visit intentions. The results show that the extent to which safety messages increase visit intentions depends on tourists’ risk propensity and self-efficacy in travel planning. The effect of safety messages is greater for low-risk-propensity respondents than for high-risk-propensity respondents; it is also greater for respondents with high (compared to low) self-efficacy in travel planning. We conclude that safety messages help to promote a destination, subject to the moderating influence of cognitive tendencies.