Stargazing tourism has recently gained more academic attention. However, whether destinations are willing to develop this market largely depends on if stargazing tourism can become a sustainable competitive advantage for them. This study explores this important issue from the perspective of tourists. Based on the theories of peak experiences and conservation of resources, this study proposed a two-stage mediation model to examine how stargazing positively affects tourists' revisit and recommend intentions. Through two surveys, the study found that stargazing is positively related to tourists' revisit and recommend intentions. The positive relationship is mediated jointly through peak experiences and stress. The variable ‘peak experiences’ is the first-stage mediator, and the variable ‘stress’ is the second-stage mediator. In addition, the study also finds that the two-stage mediation is unique to stargazing tourism compared to other forms of leisure tourism (e.g. city sightseeing tourism). The findings of this study show the mechanism of how stargazing tourism positively influences tourists' perceptions and behavioral intentions. These findings show that stargazing tourism is valuable and inimitable from the perspective of tourists. Thus, developing stargazing tourism will create sustainable competitive advantages for destinations with rare starry night skies from the perspective of a resource-based view. This study reveals the academic and practical value of stargazing tourism. The findings of the study indicate the importance of reconsidering the effects of different forms of tourism. The study also has important implications for the development of stargazing tourism in areas with clear starry night skies.