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A tale of four futures: Tourism academia and COVID-19
Tourism Management Perspectives  (IF6.586),  Pub Date : 2021-05-01, DOI: 10.1016/j.tmp.2021.100818
Philipp Wassler, Daisy X.F. Fan

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented “super-shock” for the tourism industry. How tourism academia relates to this unpredictable context is anyhow not yet evident. This study uses a qualitative scenario method to propose four possible futures for tourism academia considering the pandemic and to draw attention to key factors of these future developments. Nine interviews were held with tourism (full/ordinary) professors across Europe, America, Asia, and the Pacific Region to gain expert insights. As a result, four scenarios are proposed for tourism education, industry collaboration, research, and discipline identity. Recovery (“new sustainability” or “revenge-tourism”) for tourism academia if the pandemic impact is short-term, and Adaptancy (“bridging the gap” or “decline”) for tourism academia if the COVID-19 impact is long-lasting. Key factors for the way forward are finally discussed and contributions of our findings are highlighted.