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Rural tourism in India: case studies of resilience during crisis

Rajesh Aithal (Department of Marketing, IIM Lucknow, Lucknow, India)
R.K. Anil (Independent Researcher, Hyderabad, India)
Dechen Angmo (Department of Marketing, IIM Lucknow, Lucknow, India)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 1 November 2022

Issue publication date: 31 January 2023




This paper aims to study organisations involved in rural tourism during the COVID-19 crisis and draw out lessons for similar organisations.


A qualitative approach has been adopted to develop the case studies for the three organisations, and the popular crisis management model has been used to analyse their responses.


The three organisations studied responded well to survive the COVID-19 crisis, and, the responses were grouped into three broad themes, namely importance of a good team supporting the business, increased digital engagements and the need to diversify their customer bases.

Practical implications

Organisations working in tourism sector have been facing several crises concurrently. The findings of this study on rural tourism should hopefully provide feedback and guidance to face the future challenges that might emerge in the tourism sector.


This study would perhaps be one of the first to map the responses of organisations working in India during the COVID crisis, where rural tourism has slowly started to become a significant rural development strategy.



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.


Aithal, R., Anil, R.K. and Angmo, D. (2023), "Rural tourism in India: case studies of resilience during crisis", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 63-73.



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