The Real Implications and Effects of Covid19 in the Tourism Industry: what is the future of tourism in a world without tourists?
Although scholars have been particularly fascinated by the effects of covid19, no less true seems to be that we know little about its evolution and practical effects in the tourism industry. What is more important, the real implications of the pandemic in the global economy, as well as tourism, are uncertain (Romagosa, 2020; Korstanje 2020). In the mid of this mayhem, some voices have alerted on the opportunities of COVID19 to re-found the epistemological borders of tourism research (Wen et al 2020; Rogerson & Baum, 2020) while others called their attention to the problems of an ecological crisis precipitated by the capitalist system (Gossling, Scott & Hall, 2020; Prayag, 2020; Higgins-Desbiolles, 2020). The economic-based theory, which over years monopolized knowledge production and distribution in the academic tribes, failed not only to give a precise definition of tourism but to consolidate the discipline as a serious option. Based on the needs of protecting businesses or the organic image of the destination, this theory emphasized the figure the tourist as the only source of valid information. Still further, the economic-based paradigm has invariably led the discipline towards an unparalleled crisis, as some scholars adhere (Tribe, Dann & Jamal, 2015; Tribe 1997; 2010). As Adrian Franklin (2007) puts it, “tourist-centricity” exhibits a restrictive viewpoint of tourism which is limited to a managerial perspective based on the tourist as the only agent of the system. As a result of this, other actors and voices are pushed away to peripheral places. To some extent, COVID19, so far, shows the impossibility to make applied research in a world without tourists. Having said this, the present issue explores not only the limitation of the current tourism theory –and research- but also the opportunities and challenges posed on the industry in the years to come.
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