Tourism in Transition, the Post COVID-19 Aftermath in the Western Balkans
Annual Review of Territorial Governance in the Western Balkans, II, 2020, 46-60 Journal
Peter Nientied, Dritan Shutina
The purpose of this article is to make a case for a transition in post-COVID-19 Western Balkan (WB) tourism away from ‘back to tourism business as it was’ recovery thinking. The COVID-19 crisis is unique; unlike other disasters it is global and not local or regional, and it is leading to a global economic recession and increased social inequalities. WB tourism is severely hit by the COVID-19 crisis and the pace of tourism recovery is a question mark. Current uncertainties for WB tourism are discussed, amongst others future tourism behaviour. In view of international developments like the EU economic recovery strategy based on the Green Deal, it is suggested that the present COVID-19 crisis must be used for a transition in tourism, if WB tourism wants to remain relevant for EU tourists in the future. A transition entails building up tourism resilience, which is an obvious reaction, developing policies and practices for sustainable tourism, and building up WB as an integrated destination.
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