Economic Impacts and Management of the COVID-19 Global Crisis: A Study of the Tourism Industry

Economic Impacts and Management of the COVID-19 Global Crisis: A Study of the Tourism Industry

Fatma Feyza Gündüz, Güneş Akgül
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5289-9.ch004
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The tourism industry has been one of the fastest growing sectors of the world economy since the second half of the 20th century. Along with the COVID-19 global crisis, the sector has suffered a great destruction in a process where the tourism sector is gaining momentum. This chapter was carried out on the measurement and management of the economic effects of the COVID-19 global crisis on the tourism sector. A survey was conducted with 322 participants working as managers in different units in various travel agencies operating in Turkey. The construct validity of the scales was carried out by exploratory factor analysis. In the chapter, it was seen that crisis management practices were gathered under four dimensions. In results of the data, the total variance explanation rate for the marketing factor was 57.291%, for the human resources was 10.132%, for the government support was 7.937%, and for the maintenance was 5.286%.
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The world has struggled with many global epidemics throughout the history, and as a result, it has faced major crises that affect human life and the world economy. In these outbreaks, three of them stand out, which also affect the Eastern Mediterranean-Middle East region. The Plague of Justinian, which started in the 6th century BC and lasted in waves until the 8th century, the Black Plague, which began in the middle of the 14th century and returned frequently until the second quarter of the 19th century, and the Spanish Flu, which started in the last year of the First World War and spread all over the world. Each of these three global epidemics has led to the death of tens of millions of people. As today, global epidemics in the past have had important economic consequences besides the loss of life (Pamuk, 2020).

The coronavirus (Covid-19), an epidemic disease of the last century, first appeared on December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei region of China, and has affected the whole world. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 as a pandemic on February 11, 2020. Due to this epidemic, more and more people have been affected and infected every day or have had to change their normal lives. With the emergence of the Covid-19 global epidemic, many sectors, especially the service sector, have been negatively affected by this situation; one of the main ones is tourism and the aviation sector, to which it is directly related. In recent years, while people prefer air transportation primarily due to the advantages of air transportation, many countries have suspended their flights to many countries, especially with Republic of China, and closed their borders, considering that the Covid-19 virus is transmitted faster by contact and respiration (Akca, 2020).

Table 1.
Number of destinations with complete border closure April 2020-February2021. Source: UNWTO (2020)
Number of Destinations156165117935969

The table 1 shows the number of countries that closed their borders between 27 April 2020 and 1 February 2021. As it is known, the tourism sector is one of the sectors that contribute the most to the world economy. Although all these practices are carried out by considering public health and with the idea of returning the whole world to normal life as soon as possible, it has brought economic negativities, which is one of the biggest destructions of the epidemic.

Key Terms in this Chapter

World Health Organization: An organization affiliated with the United Nations that conducts international studies on public health.

Multivariate Analysis: A subdivision of statistics encompassing the simultaneous observation and analysis of more than one outcome variable.

Travel Agencies: It is a private seller or public service that provides travel and tourism related services, outdoor activities, visa, airline, car rental, travel line, hotels, railroads, travel insurance and tour packages.

Epidemic Disease: An unexpected increase in the number of disease cases in a specific geographical area.

Wuhan: A sub-state city in the Hubei province of the People's Republic of China. It is the administrative center and largest city of Hubei. It is one of the largest metropolises in China and has been designated as the “National Center City.”

Factor Analysis: A process in which the values of observed data are expressed as functions of a number of possible causes in order to find which are the most important.

Turkey: Turkey is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe.

Tourism Industry: The sum of all businesses that directly provide goods or services to facilitate social activities within the scope of work and leisure away from the home environment.

China: It is the largest of all Asian countries and has the largest population of any country in the world.

COVID-19 Global Crisis: It is an unprecedented global health crisis that has caused massive and serious casualties.

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