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COVID-19 Pandemic and the Accommodation Sector in Sardinia, Italy: Impacts and Response Actions

Tourism Destination Management in a Post-Pandemic Context

ISBN: 978-1-80071-512-7, eISBN: 978-1-80071-511-0

Publication date: 11 June 2021

Abstract

Purpose: The COVID-19 global outbreak has delineated a scenario characterized by lockdown measures, travel bans, unemployment, cancelled bookings and limited travel confidence and logistics, thus forcing many tourism destinations and related tourism businesses to cease operations either partially or totally. Empirical studies aiming to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as deepen our understanding about the main response actions that tourism stakeholders consider to be relevant to cope with the crisis, are extremely relevant. This is even more true in the context of island tourism destinations, where little research has addressed these issues so far. This study was therefore carried out to contribute to filling this research gap by presenting and discussing findings of an empirical research conducted on the accommodation sector in the Island of Sardinia (Italy) with the aim to investigate the impacts that the COVID-19 outbreak has generated on their booking and employment recruitment. Further, it also aims to identify and examine the most important response actions accommodation providers are implementing to cope with the situation, and what type of interventions they think regional/national institutions should adopt to sustain them.

Design/Methodology/Approach: A convergent mixed-method approach (data validation variant) was applied on a sample of 300 complete questionnaires collected in the period 15-30 March 2020, which included 140 narratives to be used for content analysis.

Findings: Quantitative findings report high cancellation rates, a severe decline in reservations and a relevant downsizing in staff recruitment. Qualitative findings identify several macro-based (i.e., institutional) and micro-based (i.e., business) interventions. Macro-based interventions are related to financial, fiscal, health, welfare, transport, destination management and destination marketing aspects. Micro-based interventions are mostly related to innovation, sanitation and cleanliness and pricing/cancellation policies.

Originality/Value: The chapter adds to the still limited island-related research aiming to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism and hospitality industry and to deepen the scientific debate about the main response actions that accommodation providers consider to be relevant to cope with the crisis.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgement

The author acknowledges the financial support provided by the University of Sassari: ‘Fondo di Ateneo per la ricerca 2020’.

Citation

Chiappa, G.D. (2021), "COVID-19 Pandemic and the Accommodation Sector in Sardinia, Italy: Impacts and Response Actions", Gowreesunkar, V.G., Maingi, S.W., Roy, H. and Micera, R. (Ed.) Tourism Destination Management in a Post-Pandemic Context (Tourism Security-Safety and Post Conflict Destinations), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 49-65. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80071-511-020211004

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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