The Covid-19 pandemic as a tourism and hospitality evolutionary launchpad

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

Abstract

There is no question that the Covid-19 pandemic has devastated many tourism and hospitality businesses and has transformed the way we do and understand business elevating technology and shifting our strategic thinking. In research terms, it has captured the interest and inspired an unprecedented number of tourism and hospitality researchers to focus their research on the effects of the pandemic on tourism and hospitality. In our journal with this edition, we would already have well over 20 Covid-19 related papers starting from online first publications that appear as early as October 2020 (i.e Jarratt, 2021). As we are still not quite out of the pandemic we expect more related research but after 2 years in the ‘eye of the storm,’ our editorial team felt that a covid-19 dedicated issue was appropriate as it celebrates the ingenuity and resilience of our industry and context that drives the passion of our research.In this issue, five of the papers focus on strategic issues relating to covid-19 and tourism and hospitality. More specifically Do et al. (2021) illustrate that in the case of Vietnamese Tour operators focus on short, and medium-term, planning rather than long term strategy is not on their horizon. Do et al. (2021) argue that innovation is the key to unlocking the full potential of recovery. Whilst Kenny and Dutt (2021) suggest that past crises have taught hoteliers a lot but this crisis shows more drastic impacts upon hotel closure, staffing, and the future of events, which is likely due to the globalised and continuous nature of this pandemic, Salem et al. (2021) propose that government intervention and help is crucial in dealing with the short and medium effects of such a crisis but so is flexibility in strategy and operations and the importance of community support. Roxas et al. (2021) emphasise the point that tourism is integral to the economy and take a different approach to argue that solutions such as utilising small networks of micro and SME travel vendors can make all the difference for a swift recovery. In his mission to provide answers, Gkoumas (2021) proposes a model that is comprised of seven interconnected and interrelated elements, namely strategy, speed, simplicity, sharing, surveillance, support, and solidarity, which have proven to be essential for restaurant viability during a severe health crisis.A link between strategy and tactics may be seen in Hemmington and Neill (2021) who contend that technology and personal contacts have made all the difference in coming up with strategic innovations in hospitality. Whilst Subadra and Hughes (2021) show us the cycle of hope and pessimism that engulfs tourism and hospitality stakeholders. More researchers seek solutions in technology as Carvache-Franco et al. (2021) turn to social media analysis for answers to the consumer side of effects. Their analysis of close to 270 k tweets advocates that in times of crisis escapism is still on the agenda. Nadeau et al. (2021) offer more insights and explain that twitter-positive emotions such as joy (at the top) and anticipation at the highest of the crisis are still there but so are negative emotions such as anger and fear (even amid crisis people clink on to joyful feelings)As Editor-in-Chief I feel that beyond the contribution to theory and methods there is also hope and possible solutions in the practical implications of these papers. The old saying of ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’ stands true here. Reading these papers I am left with a feeling of optimism that perhaps this is not just an era of destruction and a great loss for tourism and hospitality but an era of reflection, renewal and regrowth. A true era of evolution for the industries and research disciplines we are all so passionate to serve.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-4
Number of pages2
JournalTourism and Hospitality Research
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 27 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Geography
  • Planning and Development
  • Tourism
  • Leisure and Hospitality Management

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