Pandemics and Travel

Cover of Pandemics and Travel

COVID-19 Impacts in the Tourism Industry



Table of contents

(17 chapters)

Tourism activity is a global industry and, as such, it is subject to global risks. International travel has developed exponentially over the last few decades. At the same time, diseases have increased their geographical spread influenced by ecologic, genetic and human factors. Currently, the increasing virus, epidemic and pandemic outbreaks represent some of the most negative consequences of globalization, causing deaths and significant economic losses due to the negative impacts they have on the tourism industry, one of the sectors that have been the most affected by health crises.

This work presents insights on the epidemics, pandemics and virus outbreaks that have occurred throughout the twenty-first century and how those occurrences have affected the tourism industry and the global economy. A brief literature review on health risks in tourism is presented, followed by a clinical perspective to help people understand the differences between endemics, outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics. Then, the study offers a presentation of the most significant pandemics in recent human history and a deep analysis of the COVID-19 disease. Finally, the effects that the different pandemics, epidemics and outbreaks that occurred in the present century had on tourism are explained, and the challenges tourism has to face are presented and discussed.


Tourism, as a leading source of income for many countries, is one of the world's fastest-growing industries. Tourism demand is strongly influenced by the economic situation of the consumer, as well as by the political, environmental, security and health conditions provided by the host country. As tourism is not one of the first steps in Maslow's hierarchy of needs, it is not part of the mandatory spending group. Holiday plans are among the first to be altered or cancelled if there is a threat to the tourist's ‘biological and physiological needs’ or ‘security needs’. Thus, the tourism sector is highly susceptible to crises. Turkey tourism movement has faced several major national and global shocks of different origins recently. This study aims to examine the impact of crucial crises and of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism industry in terms of their characteristics, social conflicts, political situation and responses. To achieve this objective, the development of the tourism sector in Turkey has been analyzed taking into account the conditions of the world economies. Comparisons were made between overall figures for incoming tourists, tourism revenues and hotel occupancy rates in Turkey for the time periods before, during and after these crises, considering certain other effects. The figures are related to significant incidents, economic, political, health, social or environmental crises that have occurred at the national or global level.


The restrictive measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to everything across the world. The global crisis hit every sphere of life. The mobility restrictive nature of the pandemic was a major blow to the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. For a country like Pakistan, with an unstable economy and struggling tourism, the pandemic served as ground zero. This chapter critically examines tourism dimensions in Pakistan and how it sustained the impact of various crises. It pays attention to the concepts of vulnerability, social and community resilience, and adaptive capacity to provide a theoretical understanding of the revival of tourism in Pakistan. It also considers the impact of COVID-led measures on the tourism industry and corresponding initiatives of the government. The chapter concludes by arguing that Pakistan should carefully monitor and assess the current debates on tourism policies and practices. The chapter suggests that the national tourism strategy should incorporate a mechanism that can address tourism in crises in addition to addressing the environmental, socio-cultural and economic impact of tourism.


Objectives: To analyze the tourism policies introduced in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism at the national, state and local levels, considering governmental functions and intergovernmental coordination.

Methodology: The methodology consisted of a review of the scientific literature on public policies, intergovernmental coordination and government functions, in addition to an empirical observation and analysis of norms and legal acts related to the combat against COVID-19 pandemic in four municipalities in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The municipalities of Armação dos Búzios, Paraty, Petrópolis and Rio de Janeiro were selected because of their economic dependence on tourism.

Main Results and Contributions: The most important contributions were the theoretical and methodological model of the analysis of government functions combined with the review of intergovernmental coordination.

Originality/Value: To study tourism policies in a time of pandemic, since government functions, when analyzed in a tourism-related context, were conducted in non-pandemic contexts.

Conclusions: Municipal horizontal coordination is highlighted since it has positively impacted the actions of control and flexibility of pandemic measures. It was further noted that the role of the guarantor government was different throughout the whole process.

Limitations: As the study is ongoing and is part of an international project on tourism and pandemic, other data collection techniques will be included.


Since early 2020, the world has faced a pandemic that has caused a disruption in our lives, the likes of which have never been seen before. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we live, work, communicate, socialize, travel and even plan our future life. The lockdowns and civilian and travel restrictions imposed by countries worldwide have drastically affected citizens' daily routines and mobility. In consequence, all sectors are currently struggling with an unprecedented crisis, as health-related concerns have substantial effects on travel industry at the local, national and global level. The current increase in mortality rate caused by the new coronavirus has affected individuals' risk and safety perceptions and consequently their travel behaviour.

A quantitative research methodology using an online questionnaire was implemented in Portugal, and a sample composed of 1900 answers collected during one year allowed to analyze the impact that the current pandemic has on people's safety and risk perceptions and how it is affecting their daily life and travel behaviours and their willingness to accept civilian and travel restrictions. The results confirmed that the pandemic had a strong impact on Portuguese residents' safety perceptions and their travel and tourism plans. Also, it was possible to conclude that those perceptions have changed over the course of three pandemic waves.

The discussion focuses on the kind of implications this situation may have for tourism destination management and marketing. Study limitations and guidelines for future research are also forwarded.


The twenty-first-century virus outbreak caused by COVID-19 is playing a significant role in people's lives all over the world. According to the latest data (23 November), 58,751,191 people have already been infected, and 1,389,770 have died across the globe (JHU CSSE COVID-19 Dashboard, 2020). As far as the Russian Federation is concerned, 2,096,749 people have already been infected (23 November) and there are 36,192 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 (JHU CSSE COVID-19 Dashboard, 2020). This pandemic has affected different spheres, including travelling. The main purpose of this chapter is to analyze how Russian respondents perceive the impact that the coronavirus has had on their perceptions of safety, travel and leisure plans and activities. Based on a sample of almost 300 respondents, who took part in an online questionnaire, it was possible to conclude that Russian residents consider that travelling abroad is riskier than travelling within Russia.


Purpose: This work provides an empirical analysis of investor behaviour's simultaneous influence due to the surprise effect caused by COVID-19 cases and government responses to market risk. This analysis compares tourism assets risk with other sectors and different types of investors' assets and categories in Europe.

Design: The paper applies an ARIMA with a GARCH model to predict conditional volatility of models for market uncertainty. Nonlinear models, factor analysis and time series linear regression for stationary variables in first differences are applied to predict market uncertainty.

Findings: We demonstrate that market risk does not arise from COVID-19 cases but instead from the surprise effect, as the market accurately predicts future cases. Only the volatility of the sectors Travel, Airline, and Utility are influenced by both surprise effect and government response, but only the travel sector reveals an interaction effect with both government response effort and surprise effect.

Originality: The article mutually studies the simultaneous interactions among investor behaviour due to the surprised effect caused by COVID-19 and government responses to the pandemic and the influence on professional investors' volatility in two asset types and between different sectors.

Practical implications: With this model and results, investors and financial service providers may verify whether or not government intervention during pandemic periods is effective in reducing uncertainty and risk levels on sectors, types of investors and different sorts of assets.


In this work, we estimated the impact that the US VIX, economic policy and epidemic uncertainty indexes had on leisure and recreation stocks. We extended the current literature in two ways: first, we estimated the smoothed probabilities of being in ‘normal’ ( s = 1 ), ‘distress’ ( s = 2 ) and ‘crisis’ ( s = 3 ) episodes in the Refinitiv global leisure and recreation index. Then, we estimated the influence that the VIX and uncertainty indexes had on the generation of distress and crisis episodes in these stocks. By using logit regressions, we found out that only the US Economic policy uncertainty index is a detonator of distress and crisis episodes. We also found that the pandemic (COVID-19) news uncertainty has no significant and direct influence on the smoothed probabilities. Finally, and complementary to the current literature, we found that the volatility spillover effect from the S&P 500 to these stocks generates extreme volatility (crisis) episodes. Our results could be of use for practitioners and scholars and could provide a model to forecast distress and crisis episodes among leisure and recreation stocks. This model could be used for potential portfolio management or economic (tourism) policy purposes.


The health emergency resulting from the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a public health crisis with serious effects on all social dimensions. This chapter has estimated the effects that this pandemic could potentially have on tourism activities in Ecuador. The scenario methodology was the method of choice since it allows analyzing the environment and comparing different internal and external factors, placing them in a future context for the tourism sector. The data were obtained using the following: (1) UNWTO estimates anticipate that the pandemic will cause a decrease in tourist arrivals and income between −50% and −78% across the world; and (2) a simulation of the pandemic's possible impacts on employment, production and taxes that would cause drops of 50%, 70% and 78% in the demand for accommodation and food and beverage services that represent economic activities that are directly related to tourism.

The results confirm that in scenario 1, losses will amount to 1.327 million US dollars; in scenario 2, to 1.600 million USD; while for scenario 3, the country will stop receiving more than 1.700 million USD. Eight sectors of the economy will suffer 95% of the impact on job loss: the food and beverage service stands out from the rest, since 77 out of 10 jobs lost will come from those types of activities. The two other sectors that would suffer significant impacts would be trade and accommodation activities, which account for 8% and 5%, respectively, of the total number of jobs lost.


Tourism is Mexico's largest source of foreign exchange, only surpassed by remittances and foreign direct investment, and is one of the most wealth-generating economic activities in the country. However, measures to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic – such as the suspension of flights and strict restrictions on people's mobility – have caused great economic damage to the tourism industry, and with it, to large regions in the country. This chapter aims to determine the national and regional impacts of Covid-19 on Mexican tourism and analyze potential recovery scenarios. To this end, the study looks at tourism performance in Mexico in 2020 and compares it to the experience of the H1N1 influenza epidemic of 2009. The methodology uses a spatial econometric model to simulate potential impacts and prospective recovery scenarios. Finally, recommendations for tourism policy consider new trends in tourism, namely the rise in tourism advertising through digital platforms, the surge in domestic, rural and environmental tourism, and the development of a more informed, demanding and selective consumer.


This chapter presents a theoretical reflection on the possible impact of politicians' positive Word of Mouth (pWOM) on the tourists' risk perception and destination image of Portugal in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reflection is based on the collection of remarks or comments made by international politicians collected using Google as the search engine and subsequent manual textual content analysis. The results show five recurring themes in the politicians' pWOM: general praise, pandemic numbers, politician positioning, health care and population attitude. The discussion includes a reflection on the outputs of the channels used for the dissemination of the messages and the importance of the politicians' countries of origin to a market strategy that highlights Portugal as a tourism destination.


Destination marketing strategies are designed to attract visitors, inviting them to acknowledge and virtually experience the different resources available on site. Still, their success also depends on the ability of destination management organizations (DMOs) to develop an effective communication strategy. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic radically changed the goals set by the promotional campaigns launched by the Portuguese tourist boards. This study analyzes the textual content of the innovative promotional video campaigns released between mid-March and early April 2020 by Portuguese tourism authorities at national level (Turismo de Portugal), regional level (Centro, Algarve, Madeira and the Azores) and local level (Cascais) to promote these destinations during nationwide states of emergency. Since image is undeniably a key component of destination choice, content analysis approach was conducted using NVivo to measure the cognitive–affective image dimensions using a semantic differential scale. The results indicate that the campaigns conveyed inspiring messages of hope and trust to help restore tourists' confidence in their safety and emphasized the planning for future trips while aiming to reduce risk perception by highlighting that the destination is safe for travel. That way these campaigns are in close accordance with the literature focusing on corporate social responsibility applied to DMOs and image recovery strategies.


Brand love is a notion where feelings are developed towards a specific brand. This notion is more than just a preference, it is an emotional attachment with the consumed product and the brand that represents it. In tourism, destination marketing will increase the relationship between tourists and places using certain kind of messages and images whose goal is to stimulate their senses and feelings. In crisis management situations, it acts as a mediator, by assessing tourists' risk and safety perceptions, and helps mitigate lasting negative effects.

However, can destination brand love be promoted during these pandemic times? To get an in-deep understanding of the connections that exist between love and safety in tourism, this study explores two concepts through an extended literature review and a qualitative methodological approach using content analysis procedures that will focus on international marketing strategies during the ongoing pandemic crisis.

The qualitative approach was conducted through a survey composed of a set of open-ended questions (N = 31) where respondents were asked to identify their feelings after viewing the promotional tourism campaigns released after the significant increase in cases of COVID-19 worldwide.

The main results demonstrate the existence of brand love antecedents – brand trust and a sense of community, and an overall positive reaction to the images and messages promoted. Also, the existence of brand love antecedents demonstrates the brands' capacity to adapt to crisis events and its ability to outline the kind of paths that have to be defined for tourists to remain passionate about destinations.


2020 was a year marked by unprecedented health, social and economic global challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and understandably travel and tourism were among the most affected sectors.

In a world where disease outbreaks and pandemics are expected to become increasingly common, negative consequences related to other epidemics may be mitigated in the future by knowing how tourist destinations have handled a crisis of a much greater magnitude than those faced before.

Based on the long tradition of southern European tourist destinations, secondary sources are used for data processing and analysis that will help piece together an accurate picture of the tourist government policies and the alternative measures taken by those countries during the first months of the pandemic that may be useful to build resilient tourist destinations.

The aim of this chapter is to analyze how these countries managed this pandemic crisis, in order to mitigate future negative impacts from other pandemic crises and further potential Covid-19 waves and to reflect on how they may become better resilient destinations.

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Book series
Tourism Security-Safety and Post Conflict Destinations
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited