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A reflection on the Great Resignation in the hospitality and tourism industry

Bingjie Liu-Lastres (Department of Tourism, Event and Sport Management, Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
Han Wen (Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Wei-Jue Huang (School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 12 August 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023




This paper aims to provide a critical reflection on the Great Resignation in the hospitality and tourism industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, this paper reviews the causes and effects of the Great Resignation, addresses the labor shortage in this industry and proposes strategies that can help manage the challenges.


This paper is based on a critical analysis of emerging phenomena, related literature and researchers’ experiences and insights.


The Great Resignation has presented unprecedented challenges for the hospitality and tourism industry. A closer examination reveals that the pandemic has served as a catalyst rather than a leading cause of this trend. Workforce issues are becoming increasingly complex under contemporary influences, including internal elements such as new explications at work and external factors like the gig economy and technology implementation.

Practical implications

This study provides practical implications on how Hospitality and Tourism practitioners can respond to the Great Resignation on micro, meso and macro levels. The practical implications revolve around employees’ changing needs and preferences in the wave of Great Resignation, as well as the necessity for employers’ reflection and improvement.


This study marks an initial attempt to provide a critical assessment of a contemporary issue involving the Great Resignation. This paper extends its discussion through an advanced analysis of the issue, offers suggestions to manage current obstacles related to labor issues in hospitality and tourism, and illuminates future research directions.



Liu-Lastres, B., Wen, H. and Huang, W.-J. (2023), "A reflection on the Great Resignation in the hospitality and tourism industry", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 235-249.



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