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22 November 2020
Transformational Solutions for Healthy Sustainable Travel Tomorrow
Popular destinations and tourist places have become devoid of tourists. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the entire socio-economic structures across the globe and is deeply impacting the travel and tourism industry (Gossling, Hall & Scott 2020; Higgins-Desbiolles; Strielkowaski 2020). Several countries have moved past phase one of flattening the curve and are transitioning to phase two of recovery which supports initial lifting of restrictions with appropriate apparatus (Hall, Scott and Gossling 2020; The American Enterprise Institute 2020). Although cities are opening, the local businesses are experiencing gloomy scenarios. For instance, as shopkeepers in Venice prepare to open, they are confronted with a question: who are they reopening for? (Nadeau 2020). The catastrophic global crisis requires gradual recovery across all sectors and overall economic prosperity (Ranasinghe, Damunupola, Wijesundra et al. 2020). The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has issued a call for innovative and grounded leadership from the tourism and hospitality industry to strategize future recovery plans and initiatives. The ‘Stay Home Today and Travel Tomorrow’ campaign of UNWTO (2020) is a global dialogue calling for the cooperation and innovations from entrepreneurs to mitigate Covid-19 shocks on tourism by planning and implementing health, economic and destination recovery solutions.
In such times of a global crisis, strategies and paradigms investigating options for the enhancement of public health and wellbeing can facilitate strategic preparedness for a wellness-centered and resilient/sustainable fresh beginning (Bloom & Cadarette 2019). As an instance, retreat of tourists from some destinations are being welcomed by local residents. A recent news article stated that ‘Venice is empty and some want it that way;’ the city can now become more livable and affordable for the Venetians (Nadeau 2020). There is a need to plan/develop win-win value-added solutions to enable sustainable healthy travel tomorrow. Paradoxically, this pandemic is still unfolding (Hall, Scott and G€ossling 2020; Strielkowaski 2020). Although the devastating effects of coronavirus cannot be denied, priority should be on ‘reform’ over ‘recovery’ (Gills 2020; Higgins-Desbiolles 2020; Ioannides & Gyimóthy 2020; Ranasinghe et al. 2020). Recent literature is viewing COVID 19 as an opportunity to change the path of tourism and tourism reformers are actively advocating degrowth strategies, local supply chains, and localized promotions (Gills 2020; Higgins-Desbiolles 2020; G€ossling, Hall and Scott 2020; 2020; Ranasinghe et al. 2020). As pointed out by Gills, “as the existing order begins to disintegrate, a new social order must be built through: new forms of collective human consciousness; a new type of global social covenant; new forms of appropriate technology; and new forms of appropriate lifestyle” and what should emerge is “a deep restoration of the awareness of the necessity for maintaining ecological balance within the context of earth system dynamics” (2020, p. 3).Out-of-ordinary adaptive pathways are required, that are centered on the long-term wellbeing and resilience of tourists, hosts, and the tourism system as a whole, so that speedy and sustained recovery mechanisms can be developed. As health becomes intertwined with economics, future tourism paths will need to embrace concepts such as economics of health and happiness and deep restoration.
From the tourism life cycle (TLC) viewpoint, tourism has plunged to a sudden decline phase (G€ossling et al. 2020), because the entire tourism system has been dislodged from its steady and/or progressive state across the globe. The processes of evolution and sudden disruptions, triggered by a catastrophe of enormous magnitude, shape attitudes of local residents (Baggio 2008; Chhabra 2010; Ransinghe et al. 2020). Disruptions states have been scrutinized under the lens of theories such as chaos and complexity and Lamarackian physiological mediation theory (Chhabra 2010; Ravenscroft & Hadjihambi 2006; Russell 2006). Several features of chaotic states can be applied to the current state of disequilibrium, such as edge of chaos and lock-in effect. It will be crucial to examine the TLC of different destinations in the context of chaos and disequilibrium theories to gather insights on different ways a host community is likely to respond if and when tourism returns or its transformation begins. Theories such as social exchange theory, social disruption theory and/or the social representations theory will continue to offer a platform to critically and meaningfully contextualize response of host communities of re-emerging or new destinations. As argued by Cochrane, in examining the disastrous impact of Tsunami in 2014, even in worse case scenarios, destinations do not disappear but reach to new markets by “initially living on the memory of the reason why tourists originally came there, or by developing a different product or new markets, as also suggested in the rejuvenation stage of the TALC model” and an innovative resilience model can relate to “both these scenarios, allowing for the many variables of a complex tourism system to express themselves through renewal into a different configuration” (2010, p. 9).
The time of reality, we were familiar with, has now lost speed and we are in a state of pause; This pause is giving us time to rethink and awaken to reform new realities (Gills 2020). The call, today, is for transforming change by resuscitating destination life cycles. This special issue calls for papers that can offer transformative solutions, moving forward, by rethinking and redeveloping tourism for the new normal. I invite conceptual, empirical and theoretical explorations to identify and engage with transformational recovery solutions such as restorative perspectives/paradigms that hold potential to strengthen the agenda for a sustainable healthy ‘travel tomorrow.’ This call is open to multifaceted and multidisciplinary research initiatives, and the intent is to feature both case study-specific and theoretical research papers, that are based on (but not limited to) the following themes:
- The new normal in tourism
- Therapeutic/transformational ‘stay-at-home’ (or lock down) interventions and preparedness for future travel
- Interrelatedness between health and economics of tourism
- Rebranding of destinations
- Sustained and new markets for tomorrow’s travel such as flexi markets and drive-through or drive-by markets
- Creative intelligence and rediscovery of tourism
- Host community perception and attitudes towards tourism in the second, third and fourth phases of the pandemic and post-pandemic times
- Virtual tourism in the video-conferencing and the live-streaming era
- Rebirth of niche tourism in vulnerable communities
- Reigniting and reorienting sustainable tourism
- Business as usual or time to rethink and reform tourism
- Corporate social governance and transformational tourism in the new normal
- Digitalization versus digital detoxification for sustainable travel tomorrow
- Tourism and socio-economic wellbeing of the larger society
- Preparedness for tourism
- Innovative marketing strategies to encourage dreaming for tomorrow’s travel
- Relaunching destinations
- Virtual vacations and future travel
- The new meaning of hospitality in tomorrow’s tourism
- Sustainable tourism for public good
- TLC revisited in the context of chaos and complexity theories
- Transformational catalysts
- Positive psychology and tomorrow’s sustainable tourism
Looking to Publish your Research?
We aim to make publishing with Taylor & Francis a rewarding experience for all our authors. Please visit our Author Services website for more information and guidance, and do contact us if there is anything we can help with!
Abstracts, which must be submitted by July 1, 2020, should be between 500 and 1,000 words and clearly state the methods and procedures of the research, the expected results and a list of references. Authors will be given feedback on their abstracts by August 22, 2020. The full paper must be submitted by November 22, 2020. It will then be blind reviewed by at least two reviewers according to the requirements specified in the journal’s “Instruction for Authors” (https://tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=wttm20&page=instructions).
Publication of special issue: September or December 2021.
Please email all submissions (in English) to:
Dr. Deepak Chhabra
School of Community Resources & Development
411 North Central Ave., Mail code: 4020
Arizona State University, Phoenix, USA
Tel: 602 496 0550
Fax: 602 496 0953
Email: [email protected]
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