It is clear that the pandemic has had a dramatic impact on tourism regions in the short term. Europe has seen a drop of 77% in international visitor numbers in 2021 compared to pre-pandemic, and the UNWTO estimates that 100-120 million jobs are at risk globally. But what will the longer-term impacts be? This blog considers whether tourism regions will bounce back to old development paths after the pandemic or whether it will prove to be a transformative moment, triggering the establishment of new development trajectories. It draws on research, funded by the Regional Studies Association ‘Pandemics, Cities, Regions & Industry Small Grant Scheme’, which has investigated the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism regions and how destination organisations have reacted.
This blog post explores how the diverse landscape of Arctic tourism has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Since traveling across international borders were discouraged and sometimes forbidden due to national policies, local tourism entrepreneurs and DMOs had to adapt their products and stories to fit the needs of the domestic tourist. What challenges, trends and innovations arose in Arctic tourism during the summer of 2020 in Greenland, Norway, Sweden and Finland?