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Chapter 13 Conclusion Preparing for the future of travel and tourism in vulnerable times

DOI: 10.23912/9781911635765-4850

ISBN: 9781911635765

Published: April 2021

Component type: chapter

Published in: Sustainable and Collaborative Tourism in a Digital World

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911635765-4477



When gathering the best papers presented in 2019 during the 8th ATMC conference in Namur for editing this book, we were not expecting 2020 to become the nightmare year that we all experienced in the world. The Covid-19 crisis has significantly disrupted our consumption and travel habits. Heaps of business sectors were severely impacted by the two waves of lockdown of populations and countries, the closure of stores and restaurants and the overall context of anxiety and uncertainty. More than other sectors, the tourism and travel industry was severely affected. The trips and recreative activities of our fellow citizens are henceforth punctuated by ‘barrier gestures’ and by a large number of health measures taken in order to limit the spread of the pandemic. Of course, the objective of this book was not to account for the current crisis, nor to analyze the extent to which our tourism and leisure activities have changed, and whether these changes are likely to last. The aim of the book was first to discuss sustainability and collaborative practices in order to fill tourism development with ethics and responsibility. Following the collegial tradition of Advances in Tourism Marketing conferences, this book is the result of the collaboration of established international scholars with emergent researchers around the globe. The twelve chapters of this book have offered innovative and dovetailing perspectives around four major strategic questions that may support tourism development in these vulnerable times, i.e.: Can technology enhance value co-creation and the tourism experience? How sharing economy practices develop in tourism? To what extent sustainability issues affect culture and the well-being of residents? What is the connection between technology, millennials and overtourism? Of course, those issues were considered in the framework of the digital world that is ever expanding since two decades. Digital technology has been massively integrated into the strategies and operations of tourism operators. Historically dedicated to marketing and communication, digital technology is now revolutionizing the entire tourism value chain. The promotion of a destination can no longer be considered without the mix between official digital channels and levers such as influencers and rating platforms. Any tourist expects to find relevant and up-to-date information on the Internet in order to prepare for his stay, to choose among transportation, accommodation and recreational alternatives, and to book activities. The exchange of tips and advice has become an important element in choosing a destination. In many regions, competition between destinations and operators makes it essential to be attractive via a different offer and digital technology may act as a major differentiator (e.g., Histopad to visit Chambord’s Castle, Monument Tracker). To answer these questions, the book was organized in four parts where interdependence, collaboration, sustainability and responsible behavior are deeply discussed with the aim of contributing to marketing tourism in the digital world that we know today. The book started with a discussion about how to co-create value with or without technologies, detailed how web platforms reboot collaborative economic practices, presented sustainable tourism development under a human perspective and ended with the discussion of key issues in tourism marketing, including overtourism and residents’ propensity to boost tourism development. We now summarize the key takeaways of those four parts, closing each part with a reflection on the lessons learnt from current Covid-19 crisis in order to assess what will be left after the vulnerable times that we live now.

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Decrop & Correia, 2021

Decrop, A. & Correia, A. (2021) "Chapter 13 Conclusion Preparing for the future of travel and tourism in vulnerable times" In: Decrop, A., Correia, A., Fyall, A. & Kozak, M. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911635765-4850


Published in Sustainable and Collaborative Tourism in a Digital World

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