Although travel influencers (TIs) are viewed as a marketing tool in tourism, little research has been conducted to identify the relationships in the influence mechanism processes. To fill this gap, stimulus-organism-response theory has been applied to investigate the effects of TIs on visit intention during the COVID-19 pandemic. Partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) was used to analyze the data collected from social media users in Turkey. The findings of the study suggest that dimensions of TI affect cognitive response and trust differently, which in turn influences visit intention. Second, the expertise and attractiveness of the indirect effect of content on visit intention have been determined, mediated by cognitive response and trust. Third, COVID-19 fear has been found to moderate the relationship between trust and visit intention. However, confidence in vaccine has not been found to moderate the association between cognitive response with trust, and visit intention. The study helps the tourism industry and influencer agencies to create marketing communication strategies to attract more tourists via social media.