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Article
Publication date: 29 September 2021

Mona Mirehie and Inje Cho

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and consequent economic shutdown have had severe impacts on the tourism industry. Acquiring an understanding of the impacts and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and consequent economic shutdown have had severe impacts on the tourism industry. Acquiring an understanding of the impacts and ongoing response procedures is crucial to recovery planning. The purpose of this study is to explore the management procedures undertaken by sport tourism stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indiana, USA, a state that relies heavily on sport tourism for its economic vibrancy.

Design/methodology/approach

A constructivist grounded theory approach was adopted. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 high-rank managers in sport tourism organizations.

Findings

Continued uncertainty, psychological and financial distress were found to be the main challenges. Contingency planning, adaptability and focus on doable tasks were the core elements of the strategic response plan. Resilience management, particularly social and financial, appeared to be key in the recovery process. A stronger return was predicted with technological advancements and new collaborations. Intra-destination collaboration and creative programs were found to be key in the long-term resilience of the destination.

Originality/value

Findings shed light on the challenges faced, response actions undertaken, and the projected future which helps to understand the stories behind decisions and proposals, identify the gaps, and plan the best possible practices. Recommendations for leveraging sports to revitalize the destinations and help businesses survive the crisis are provided that can guide sport tourism communities on their path to recovery from COVID-19.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

Keywords

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