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COVID-19 and Travel

Impacts, responses and outcomes

Simon Hudson

ISBN: 9781911635703 HBK; 9781911635710 PBK; 9781911635727 eBook


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Read in full the case study from chapter 1 How the cruise industry became a symbol of COVID-19 Click here to download

The year 2020 will be a defining moment in the history of the tourism and hospitality industry worldwide. The arrival of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 dealt the industry a vicious blow. It is forecast that due to this pandemic, the number of international tourist arrivals will fall by at least 60-80% in 2020, putting millions of jobs at risk. The industry will recover, but travel will never be the same again.

COVID-19 and Travel: impacts, responses and outcomes examines how this crisis unfolded and its devasting impacts on the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Packed with international case studies, it takes the reader from the very outset of the crisis, how the industry reacted and its message to the market, through to its impacts and a possible future. It examines issues such as:
  • Why the COVID-19 outbreak and travel were inextricably linked;
  • How the different sectors of the industry adapted to the crisis;
  • Crisis communication strategies employed by organizations in response to the crisis;
  • How travellers were impacted by the crisis;
  • The social, economic and environmental impacts of the pandemic;
  • The future of travel after COVID-19.

The book has a thorough user-friendly pedagogic structure and is accompanied by a website which contains an instructor’s guide that includes chapter questions and model answers, a test bank, PowerPoint slides for each chapter, and short videos to accompany the cases.

The impacts of this pandemic change daily, and the crisis is still fluid. To this end, the book will be updated regularly with online articles that can be found on this webpage.

Must have reading for all tourism students, educators, and practitioners all over the world and the ‘go to’ text on the subject of COVID-19 and its impact on travel.

Publication date: August 2020

Table of contents

Chapter 1: An unfolding crisis
Chapter 1 will look at how the crisis unfolded and impacted travel (eg. cruise ships unable to dock, aircraft ordered to turn around mid-flight, travelers stranded overseas, ski resorts closing overnight, restaurants ordered to shut etc). How and why did destinations react differently?

Chapter 2: Adapting to lock down
This chapter will cover how the different sectors of the industry adapted to the crisis. For example, most airlines grounded planes, some hotels started offering daily room rates, many national parks closed, restaurants moved towards delivery and take-out only, tour operators furloughed staff, and golf courses put social distancing policies in place.

Chapter 3: Sending the right message
Chapter 3 will look at crisis communication management and the marketing strategies employed by organizations in response to the pandemic. Creative visual campaigns from Greece, Scotland and Portugal persuaded travelers that better days are coming, while urging them to stay safe in the meantime. Other used cause-related marketing to keep their brands top of mind. Yet some suggested that promoting tourism at this time was borderline irresponsible. In fact, some destinations even campaigned against tourism. What is/was the right message?

Chapter 4: Message received?
How did consumers responded to these various marketing messages; who are those ‘crisis-resistant’ travelers who are most likely to travel once the crisis is over? What will incentivize consumers to travel in the future and how will they change their travel behavior? Consumer studies are already being published on this topic so this chapter will offer a synopsis of those.

Chapter 5: Social, economic and environmental impact
To date, what has been the impact of the crisis on the social, economic and environmental fabric of the world as it relates to travel? We know already that the number of international tourist arrivals will fall by 20-30% in 2020 putting millions of jobs at risk. But perhaps society and the environment can benefit from this rapid move from overtourism to undertourism.

Chapter 6: The future of travel after COVID-19
What will the future of travel look like? Will cruise ships only allow passengers to board who have protective immunity or have been vaccinated? Will we see empty middle seats on airplanes? Will temperature checks, social distancing and mobile payment become the norm at restaurants are they are becoming in China? Will hotels follow the example of the Westin Houston Medical Center in Texas, and use virus-killing robots to clean rooms? What we do know is that is unlikely the travel sector will return to business as usual, so how are the different sectors of the industry responding to, or preparing for recovery?

Table of contents

Chapter 1: An unfolding crisis
Chapter 1 will look at how the crisis unfolded and impacted travel (eg. cruise ships unable to dock, aircraft ordered to turn around mid-flight, travelers stranded overseas, ski resorts closing overnight, restaurants ordered to shut etc). How and why did destinations react differently?

Chapter 2: Adapting to lock down
This chapter will cover how the different sectors of the industry adapted to the crisis. For example, most airlines grounded planes, some hotels started offering daily room rates, many national parks closed, restaurants moved towards delivery and take-out only, tour operators furloughed staff, and golf courses put social distancing policies in place.

Chapter 3: Sending the right message
Chapter 3 will look at crisis communication management and the marketing strategies employed by organizations in response to the pandemic. Creative visual campaigns from Greece, Scotland and Portugal persuaded travelers that better days are coming, while urging them to stay safe in the meantime. Other used cause-related marketing to keep their brands top of mind. Yet some suggested that promoting tourism at this time was borderline irresponsible. In fact, some destinations even campaigned against tourism. What is/was the right message?

Chapter 4: Message received?
How did consumers responded to these various marketing messages; who are those ‘crisis-resistant’ travelers who are most likely to travel once the crisis is over? What will incentivize consumers to travel in the future and how will they change their travel behavior? Consumer studies are already being published on this topic so this chapter will offer a synopsis of those.

Chapter 5: Social, economic and environmental impact
To date, what has been the impact of the crisis on the social, economic and environmental fabric of the world as it relates to travel? We know already that the number of international tourist arrivals will fall by 20-30% in 2020 putting millions of jobs at risk. But perhaps society and the environment can benefit from this rapid move from overtourism to undertourism.

Chapter 6: The future of travel after COVID-19
What will the future of travel look like? Will cruise ships only allow passengers to board who have protective immunity or have been vaccinated? Will we see empty middle seats on airplanes? Will temperature checks, social distancing and mobile payment become the norm at restaurants are they are becoming in China? Will hotels follow the example of the Westin Houston Medical Center in Texas, and use virus-killing robots to clean rooms? What we do know is that is unlikely the travel sector will return to business as usual, so how are the different sectors of the industry responding to, or preparing for recovery?

About the authors

Dr. Simon Hudson is Professor of Tourism at the University of South Carolina, USA.

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