With the normalization of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, people are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible. This has deeply affected the tourism industry. The tourism market size is decreasing sharply, and the restoration of tourism destinations faces great difficulties. Wuhan, the first city to have fought the COVID-19 pandemic head-on, attracted all Chinese people's attention, as everybody said, "come on, Wuhan!" on social media and lent it great support in fighting the pandemic. People discussed the pandemic, became more aware about Wuhan, made plans to travel to Wuhan after the pandemic, and celebrated the stage victory when Wuhan was reopened, which constitutes a meaningful phenomenon in the tourism industry. To reveal the theoretical relationship between people's empathy and travel willingness, this article crawls the microblog data of Wuhan for one month before and after the reopening, from March 24 to April 23, and introduces the destination image as a mediator variable to reflect people's cognition about Wuhan. Then, the data are analyzed and the theoretical model is tested through qualitative and quantitative methods. The main conclusions are as follows: in the post-pandemic period, people's empathy toward Wuhan is dominated by positive emotions, accounting for 85.09% of responses. Respectively, neutral and negative emotions account for 3.42% and 11.49%, respectively. In addition to Wuhan's traditional image, "oriental cherry," "Wuhan hot-dry noodles," a specialty breakfast meal in the Hubei province, many new images of Wuhan have emerged, such as "hero" and "heroic," owing to its tenacious spirit and deep sacrifices during the pandemic. Generally, people have a strong willingness to travel to Wuhan, and the pandemic has transformed it into a special tourism attraction. Many inspiring emotions have emerged, such as "Wuhan," "come on," "hope," "pandemic," "definitely," "go again," and eat "Wuhan hot-dry noodles." According to the hypothesis model test results, empathy affects travel willingness significantly, however, the direct effect between empathy and travel willingness is completely mediated after the destination image is added, and its effect size is 0.191. In conclusion, the influence of empathy upon tourism willingness is fully implemented with the help of the destination image. Empathy between potential tourists and the destination produces emotional resonance, admiration, and other emotions. Such empathy spurs people's insight about the destination, produces a new destination image, and creates a strong travel willingness. This article clarifies why people travel to a specific destination after a public emergency. Additionally, the results suggest that it is necessary to guide the propagation of positive emotions, and consider the possible impact of emergency upon the destination image, by which the tourism industry may reach its revitalization after the pandemic crisis effectively. For Wuhan, it is a plausible approach to rely on people's empathy in the COVID-19 pandemic, and the new destination image can also stimulate people's travel willingness. Furthermore, many new tourism marketing activities based on the destination image may change, such as "come and enjoy the hot-dry noodles," "come and enjoy the oriental cherry again," and may play unique roles in the restoration of the tourism industry.