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Billions of Dollars Lost: Can the Tourism Industry Survive COVID-19?

By Nikki Borgel on Mar 12, 2020

Editor Note: Understanding the importance of this timely topic and to ensure that research is made available to the wider academic community, IGI Global has made a sample of related articles and chapters complimentary to access. View the end of this article to freely access this critical research.

With the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) now being labeled as a pandemic, travelers all over the globe are rushing to cancel their planned trips to mitigate the spread of the disease, forcing hotels, airlines, cruise lines, and event centers to handle a higher than usual volume of customer inquiries and conduct a full review of their business policies. As organizations scramble to ensure they are acting responsibly by temporarily closing, canceling major sporting events, stopping all cruise departures, and postponing conferences/concerts, especially as federal governments are placing travel bans, there continues to be the looming reality of what long-term impacts this could have on their business and the economy as a whole. According to an NBC News article, the International Air Transport Association predicts that the airline industry alone will lose over $100 billion. Experts are comparing the current impacts on airline travel to the impact witnessed after 9/11 and other major terrorist attacks. However, this industry is not the only one that will see long-term side effects from the coronavirus pandemic in the coming months.

The issue of the coronavirus and its impact on tourism is a growing topic of discussion as the issue becomes more pressing with each passing day. Since tourism is one of the most “nonessential” industries, it often gets hit the hardest when it comes to forms of financial and national crisis1, as is explored in, “Financial Crisis and Tourism Activity: Evidence from the UK” by Nikolaos Pappas from The University of West London, UK and Alexandros Apostolakis from Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete & Greek Open University, Greece. This article comes from Research Anthology on Destination Management and Marketing: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice (2 Volumes) (IGI Global)one of the many publications featuring the latest research content on tourism and crisis management. This edited book focuses on utilizing destination branding and content marketing for sustainable growth and competitive advantage within the tourism and hospitality industry, including tools and techniques for travel branding and best practices for better tourism management strategies. Below, we explore the current and potential future effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the tourism industry.

Research Anthology on Destination Management and Marketing: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice
Edited by Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A (Executive Editor of IGI Global, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 | Pages: 1,214 | ISBN: 9781799824695 | EISBN: 9781799824701

Focuses on utilizing destination branding and content marketing for sustainable growth and competitive advantage within the tourism and hospitality industry, including tools and techniques for travel branding and best practices for better tourism management strategies...Learn More.

The Current Impacts

Experts are comparing the current impact on airline travel and overall tourism to the impact witnessed after 9/11, with many individuals avoiding all forms of air travel and canceling trips to certain parts of the world most heavily impacted. NBC predicts that the $100 billion loss for the airline industry will occur by the time the coronavirus is contained. Airlines are cutting down the number of available flights in an effort to save money and resources, as fewer people are willing to take the risk to travel, and one UK-based airline has been forced to shut down entirely.

Global anxiety over the coronavirus is rising. Stores are selling out of essentials, from groceries to hand sanitizer and medical masks, as a result of news sources encouraging citizens to be prepared for a potential two weeks or more on lockdown. Conferences, concerts, festivals, and other large gatherings of people continue to be canceled. Colleges are resorting to online-only classes. As a result, stock markets are taking a hit, and industry professionals are not expecting to see a rebound in activity and travel until May 2020, at the earliest.

The Long-term Impacts

According to the chapter “Cultural Tourism and Economic Development” by Prof. J. Scott McDonald, from University of Texas as El Paso, USA, et al. from the reference book Cultural Tourism in the Wake of Web Innovation: Emerging Research and Opportunities (IGI Global), the economic growth of tourism has largely outpaced the general economic growth and GDP for several years, with tourism counting for over 10% of GDP overall in several countries. This goes to show that these losses to airlines, cruise ships, hotels, and other business will not just effect the communities and industries that are being hit hardest, but the countries’ GDP and the global economy as a whole will likely suffer from the lack of activity in the tourism sector. Most certainly, economic growth will turn into losses for the first part of the year. >2

Cultural Tourism in the Wake of Web Innovation: Emerging Research and Opportunities
Authored by Prof. J. Scott McDonald (University of Texas El Paso, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 | Pages: 139 | ISBN: 9781522583950 | EISBN: 9781522583950

An essential scholarly book that examines revolutionary changes taking place in the field of cultural tourism that are a result of the applications of web-based and other information technologies including Web 2.0 innovations, locational technologies, and digital imaging....Learn More.

The effects of coronavirus shutdowns might double in the coming weeks as the seasons shift, bringing many cities and coastal areas back into their peak tourism seasons. While some tourist destinations see equal amounts of business year-round, others are known for certain times of year. American beach destinations will likely take a hit as spring-breakers renegotiate their plans and Italian cities will take even harder hits under the government-mandated lockdown.

The ideas of tourist seasons are explored in depth in the chapter “Impacts of the Tourist Activity and Citizens’ Evaluation About the Necessity for Resting Periods” by Prof. Jose Maria Martin of Universidad Internacional de La Rioja, Spain, from the reference book Strategic Perspectives in Destination Marketing (IGI Global), edited by Prof. Mark Anthony Camilleri from University of Malta, Malta. Resting periods in tourism, like the one being forced by the coronavirus, negatively impact the economy and culture of an area, but they have their benefits as well, allowing locals to rest mentally and physically, but also giving the local environment and ecosystems a chance to rest and decrease pollution.3

Strategic Perspectives in Destination Marketing
Authored by Prof. Mark Anthony Camilleri (University of Malta, Malta)
Copyright: © 2019 | Pages: 411 | ISBN: 9781522558354 | EISBN: 9781522558361

A collection of innovative research on the methods and applications of branding in the tourism, travel, and hospitality industry sectors.....Learn More.

Whether the coronavirus is contained and brought under control soon or continues to run rampant for months, the effects are already in motion, changing and challenging the lives of individuals in the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as those they serve, and the economic and physical world we live in.

The publications featured in this article, Research Anthology on Destination Management and Marketing: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice (ISBN: 9781799824695 | EISBN:  9781799824701), edited by Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A (Executive Editor of IGI Global, USA) , Cultural Tourism in the Wake of Web Innovation: Emerging Research and Opportunities (ISBN: 9781522583950 | EISBN:  9781522583967), authored by Prof. J. Scott McDonald from University of Texas at El Paso, USA, et al., and Strategic Perspectives in Destination Marketing (ISBN: 9781522558354 | EISBN: 9781522558361), edited by Prof. Mark Anthony Camilleri from University of Malta, Malta, are currently available both in print and electronic format through IGI Global’s Online Bookstore at a 20% discount, and are featured in IGI Global’s InfoSci®-Books database (5,300+ e-books). Recommend these publications, the InfoSci-Books database, and the InfoSci-Journals database (185+ e-journals) to your library to have access to this critical research as well as thousands of other research resources, including the chapters and articles below.

Understanding that universities are migrating to an online-only model for the next several weeks and accessibility to online resources will be of critical importance, IGI Global is pleased to offer each of its book and journal titles in electronic format with flexible access and purchasing options. For more information please contact cust@igi-global.com.

Complimentary Research Articles and Chapters on Hospitality and Tourism:

In response to the timeliness and importance of this topic, we have made all of the below articles and chapters complimentary to access. As such, please feel free to integrate these resources into your research and share them across your network.



Featured Publications Surrounding Tourism and Hospitality:

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Recommend to Library
Research Anthology on Destination Management and Marketing: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice
Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A (Executive Editor of IGI Global, USA)

Copyright: © 2020 | Pages: 1,214 | ISBN: 9781799824695 | EISBN: 9781799824701

Focuses on utilizing destination branding and content marketing for sustainable growth and competitive advantage within the tourism and hospitality industry, including tools and techniques for travel branding and best practices for better tourism management strategies. Highlighting a range of topics such as service quality, sustainable tourism, and competitiveness model, this publication is an ideal reference source for government officials, travel agencies, advertisers, marketers, tour directors, hotel managers, restaurateurs, industry professionals including those within the hotel, leisure, transportation, and theme park sectors, policymakers, practitioners, academicians, researchers, and students.

About the Editor: Dr. Mehdi Khosrow-Pour has decades of experience and expertise editing authoritative major reference works and scholarly journals. Some of his most recognizable career achievements have been editing the five-volume Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, First Edition (2005) which has now led up to the Fifth Edition set for release in July of 2020. He also served as Editor-in-Chief of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Criminal Activities and the Deep Web (February 2020), the two-volume Encyclopedia of E-Commerce, E-Government, and Mobile Commerce (March 2006), along with over 24 major reference works. Furthermore, he is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of four highly-indexed journals, the Information Resources Management Journal, the Journal of Electronic Commerce in Organizations, the Journal of Cases on Information Technology, and the Journal of Information Technology Research. Having collaborated in the academic publishing arena for more than 30 years, he has had the opportunity to conduct his own research and writing activities as well as serve as IGI Global’s Executive Editor, cultivating some of the most innovative research findings from prominent researchers all over the world. His positive experiences leading book and journal projects paired with his strong command of the latest trending research topics inspired these comprehensive research anthologies.


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Recommend to Library
Impact of Risk Perception Theory and Terrorism on Tourism Security: Emerging Research and Opportunities
Prof. Maximiliano E. Korstanje (University of Palermo, Argentina)

Copyright: © 2020 | Pages: 144 | ISBN: 9781799800705 | EISBN: 9781799800712

A collection of innovative research on the methods and applications of tourism crisis management that takes an anthropological approach to tourism safety and security. While highlighting topics including disaster potential, political instability, and virtual terrorism, this book is ideally designed for policymakers, law enforcement, tour developers, hotel managers, event planners, event coordinators, travel agencies, government officials, researchers, and professionals in the hospitality and tourism industry.


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Recommend to Library
Multilevel Approach to Competitiveness in the Global Tourism Industry
Prof. Sérgio Jesus Teixeira (Higher Institute of Administration and Languages, Portugal) and Prof. João Matos Ferreira (University of Beira Interior, Portugal)

Copyright: © 2020 | Pages: 393 | ISBN: 9781799803652 | EISBN: 9781799803676

Contains crucial reference material that discusses new intelligent practices to increase business competitiveness in the tourism sector. Featuring research on topics such as networking, artificial intelligence, and regional competitiveness, this book is ideally designed for program directors, event coordinators, tour developers, hotel managers, restaurateurs, travel agents, policymakers, academics, researchers, advanced students, entrepreneurs, government officials, and professionals in the tourism and hospitality industry.


Learn More
Recommend to Library
Research Anthology on Sustainable Tourism: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice
Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A (Executive Editor of IGI Global, USA)

Copyright: © 2019 | Pages: 393 | ISBN: 9781522575047 | EISBN: 9781522575054

Features current research that takes an in-depth look at cooperative strategies and governance for conserving and promoting tourism within both developed and developing economies. Highlighting a range of topics such as tourism development, environmental protection, and responsible hospitality, this publication is an ideal reference source for entrepreneurs, business managers, economists, business professionals, policymakers, academicians, researchers, and graduate-level students interested in the latest research on sustainable tourism.


Learn More
Recommend to Library
Managerial Strategies for Business Sustainability During Turbulent Times
Prof. Ramona-Diana Leon (National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania)

Copyright: © 2018 | Pages: 394 | ISBN: 9781522527169 | EISBN: 9781522527176

A crucial resource that discusses successful methods and techniques for building sturdy company practices. Featuring pertinent topics such as sustainable supply chains, knowledge management, information sharing, and performance evaluations, this is an ideal scholarly reference source for CEOs, managers, business students, and researchers that would like to discover more unique and engaging ways to build a strong business foundation.


Learn More
Recommend to Library
Global Trends, Practices, and Challenges in Contemporary Tourism and Hospitality Management
Prof. Debasish Batabyal (Amity University, Kolkata, India) and Prof. Dillip Kumar Das (University of Burdwan, India)

Copyright: © 2019 | Pages: 318 | ISBN: 9781522584940 | EISBN: 9781522584957

Discusses and analyzes the impacts of new trends in the tourism industry, including sub-sectors of tourism, and revisits existing trends, identifies new types and forms of tourism, and discusses the influence and use of technology. Featuring research on topics such as guest retention, predictive analysis, and ecotourism practices, the material collected is ideally designed for managers, travel agents, industry professionals, practitioners, consultants, and researchers.

View All Publications With Content Related to This Topic

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of IGI Global.


About IGI Global: Founded in 1988, IGI Global, an international academic publisher, is commitment to producing the highest quality research (as an active full member of the Committee on Publication Ethics “COPE”) and ensuring the timely dissemination of innovative research findings through an expeditious and technologically advanced publishing processes. Through their commitment to supporting the research community ahead of profitability, and taking a chance on virtually untapped topic coverage, IGI Global has been able to collaborate with over 100,000+ researchers from some of the most prominent research institutions around the world to publish the most emerging, peer-reviewed research across 350+ topics in 11 subject areas including business, computer science, education, engineering, social sciences, and more. To learn more about IGI Global, click here.


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1 McDonald, J. S., Bennett Jr., J. R., Merwin, K. A., & Merwin Jr., G. A. (2019). Cultural Tourism and Economic Development. In Cultural Tourism in the Wake of Web Innovation: Emerging Research and Opportunities (pp. 13-44). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-8395-0.ch002

2 Martin, J. M. (2019). Impacts of the Tourist Activity and Citizens' Evaluation About the Necessity for Resting Periods. In M. Camilleri (Ed.), Strategic Perspectives in Destination Marketing (pp. 81-112). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-5835-4.ch004

3 Pappas, N., & Apostolakis, A. (2020). Financial Crisis and Tourism Activity: Evidence from the UK. In I. Management Association (Ed.), Research Anthology on Destination Management and Marketing: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice (pp. 784-801). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-2469-5.ch043

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