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Tourism as a bridge for inter-cultural understanding and reconciliation despite the COVID-19 challenges: an interview with Dr Itsik Peres

Alex Altshuler (Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, School of Social Work, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 7 June 2021

Issue publication date: 21 July 2021

340

Abstract

Purpose

The interview with Mr Itsik (Isaac) Peres aims to provide a set of insights from the field – through global, Middle-Eastern and Israeli lenses – on some of the major challenges for the tourism industry in the face of COVID-19.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper consists of an academic interview with Mr Itsik (Isaac) Peres and presents an engaging discussion between the experienced and knowledgeable tour guide and a scholar of resilience.

Findings

Mr Peres calls for a balanced approach that views health considerations as the top priority but at the same time believes that the tourism industry may – at least partially – adapt itself to the global pandemic and operate through a “new normal” during COVID-19. It is also claimed that there is no conflict between necessary international standards and local knowledge, creativity and adaptation measures. Mr Itsik Peres also addresses the potential major local and regional opportunities for the tourism industry and for the society as a whole that may emerge because of the new Abraham Accords (a peace treaty between Israel, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed in August 2020).

Originality/value

This paper presents an original and comprehensive analysis of the major challenges and solutions for the tourism industry in the face of COVID-19 through the lenses of an experienced professional in the field. The interview provides the reader with short-term and long-term “take away” messages for more effective and adaptive functioning of the tourism industry – during the COVID-19 epidemic and following its hopeful end.

Keywords

Citation

Altshuler, A. (2021), "Tourism as a bridge for inter-cultural understanding and reconciliation despite the COVID-19 challenges: an interview with Dr Itsik Peres", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 397-400. https://doi.org/10.1108/WHATT-02-2021-0022

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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