Book review — International Case Studies on Tourism Destination Management and Covid-19. Impacts and Responses

Anne Koechling (Institute for Management and Tourism, FH Westküste, Heide, Germany)

Journal of Tourism Futures

ISSN: 2055-5911

Article publication date: 29 March 2023

Issue publication date: 29 March 2023

282

Citation

Koechling, A. (2023), "Book review — International Case Studies on Tourism Destination Management and Covid-19. Impacts and Responses", Journal of Tourism Futures, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 140-141. https://doi.org/10.1108/JTF-03-2023-289

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Anne Koechling

License

Published in Journal of Tourism Futures. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode


The COVID-19 pandemic brought the global tourism market, which had been growing steadily until then, to an almost complete standstill. In April 2020, 100% of all worldwide destinations had imposed strict travel restrictions in response to the pandemic (UNWTO, 2020). The following two years proved very difficult for the industry due to recurring lockdowns and changing (reduced) travel behaviour. This was especially true for countries with a high economic dependence on international tourism. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, many studies have dealt with its consequences for the tourism industry. The focus has been on analyses of changes in demand as well as individual case studies on how the pandemic has been dealt with on the supply side (for an overview see Utkarsh and Sigala, 2021; Zopiatis et al., 2021; Gössling and Schweiggart, 2022). However, to benefit from the very different experiences worldwide in dealing with the pandemic in the long term, a broad comparative study of the measures applied and their success was lacking. Simon Hudson's book fills this gap by creating a global benchmark based on a systematic case study analysis in 34 destinations worldwide (Aruba, Australia, Barbados, Bhutan, Cambodia, Canada, Canary Islands, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Dubai, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam). It would have been interesting to know on which criteria the destinations were chosen – however, they do represent a very broad international perspective.

Based on an extensive analysis of secondary data (media articles, government reports, campaign materials, websites, social media channels) and semi-structured interviews with destination managers, government officials and hospitality staff, Hudson describes the impacts, responses and outcomes of the pandemic for each of the selected destinations. Beyond the global perspective, the special feature of this book is therefore the analogous, stringent approach in all case studies, which on the one hand allows a deep insight into country-specific impacts and solutions, and on the other hand is very clear and easily comparable between the destinations due to the uniform presentation of results.

In an introductory chapter, Hudson summarises the key findings across all case studies which are important for the future of tourism post-COVID-19, thus providing a good framework for delving deeper into the individual case studies that follow. In doing so, he points out that a benchmark for dealing with the pandemic is very difficult for destinations, as the comparative figures are usually only snapshots at a point in time, which, as has been shown, are extremely volatile. In addition, the starting positions regarding, for example, dependence on tourism and political support during the pandemic vary greatly from destination to destination, which makes a “hard comparison” challenging. However, Hudson's qualitative, descriptive approach makes it possible to get to know the situation in very different countries very well and to evaluate the measures implemented there on this basis. As a result, after two years of the pandemic, he concludes – not surprisingly – that some destinations are doing better than others. Moreover, the case studies show the great fragility and the associated need to increase the resilience of the industry. Across the case studies, government support, business model adaptation, stakeholder communication, technology adoption and collaboration are summarised as particular success factors. In addition, training was identified as a key factor for post-COVID-19 success in many destinations. Finally, Hudson highlights a key learning which is that the industry as a whole has to adapt to the “new normal” in which sustainability and safety are of high importance.

The book is pleasantly easy to read and is aimed at students, teachers and practitioners alike. Each case study is only a few pages long, is always structured in the same way (impacts, responses and outcomes) and is partly supported by pictures and graphics. The questions at the end of each case study as well as the supplementary video links are very well suited to discuss individual case studies in depth in class. Overall, the book offers a very good global overview of crisis management in destinations during the COVID-19 pandemic and, through the combined findings, provides good indications of what will be important in destination management in the future.

References

Gössling, S. and Schweiggart, N. (2022), “Two years of COVID-19 and tourism: what we learned, and what we should have learned”, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 915-931, doi: 10.1080/09669582.2022.2029872.

UNWTO World Tourism Organization (Ed.) (2020), World Tourism Barometer - May 2020: Special Focus on the Impact of COVID-19, Madrid, available at: https://webunwto.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/2020-05/Barometer_May2020_full.pdf

Utkarsh and Sigala, M. (2021), “A bibliometric review of research on COVID-19 and tourism: reflections for moving forward”, Tourism Management Perspectives, Vol. 40, 100912, doi: 10.1016/j.tmp.2021.100912.

Zopiatis, A., Pericleous, K. and Theofanous, Y. (2021), “COVID-19 and hospitality and tourism research: an integrative review”, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Vol. 48, pp. 275-279, doi: 10.1016/j.jhtm.2021.07.002.

Related articles