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Building back better: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the resilience of the hospitality and tourism industries

This study provides a critical synthesis of research conducted within the hospitality and tourism industries in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying key perspectives and themes relating to the recovery and resilience of the two sectors and put forward recommendations that help address organizational and consumer behavior changes produced by the pandemic. This study offers operational, practical and actionable recommendations for organizations about how to adapt and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by guiding the industry in sustaining long-term resilience. This study provides a critical and current synthesis of selected literature and theory that discuss key implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for the recovery and resilience-building of the hospitality and tourism sectors. The study indicates that many marketers have already responded to challenges produced by COVID-19 by optimizing or adopting new communication channels and technologies, revisiting their brand and destination images and strengthening their CSR messages. Going forward, continued marketing innovation, optimization of emerging technologies and online service provision tools will contribute to the long-term recovery and success of tourism and hospitality. Given the close relationship between customer (repeat) purchase intentions and a business’ financial stability, there are significant implications for businesses from understanding their consumers’ emerging or evolving needs and preferences. The pandemic has driven an increase in environmentally conscious consumer behaviors and patterns (e.g. “ecological,” “responsible,” “minimalist” and “nomadic” travelling), which provides hospitality and tourism businesses with creative opportunities to build resilience.