Tourism in the Post(?) COVID-19 Era: Evidence from the Hotel Sector in the North East of England

Spanaki, Maria Zoi, Papatheodorou, Andreas and Pappas, Nikolaos (2021) Tourism in the Post(?) COVID-19 Era: Evidence from the Hotel Sector in the North East of England. Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, 13 (3). pp. 357-368. ISSN 1755-4217

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Abstract

Purpose: This paper examines developments in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic using the hotel sector in the North-East of England as the area of study. The country has attracted a lot of attention not only because of its importance as a tourism destination but also due to its rather controversial management of the pandemic at least in its early stages.

Methodology: Fifteen semi-structured interviews based on ten open-ended questions were conducted with North East of England-based hotel managers of international brands on the level of their hotels’ preparedness to effectively deal with pandemic cases. The interviews took place in August and September 2020 with participants kept anonymous.

Findings: Meeting new operational and bureaucratic requirements added to the cost structure and proved a major challenge for managers who saw their hotel occupancy rates and revenue collapsing within a short period of time. Innovative and aggressive pricing strategies were introduced to lure especially younger travelers in the absence of business clientele. Staff were made redundant and/or asked to work overtime making effective human resource management very difficult.

Originality/Value: This is one of the first research attempts to highlight the importance of the COVID-19 pandemic for the hotel sector in a major region of the United Kingdom. The paper also attempts some generalization by discussing managerial implications and suggesting a possible way forward for the hotel sector. Developing resilience by building on previously used successful business practices proves of essence.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Tourism > Hospitality
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism > School of Tourism
Depositing User: Nikolaos Pappas
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2021 09:31
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2021 09:31
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/13977

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