COVID-19 AND COASTAL DESTINATION IMPACTS: THE CASE OF SOUTH AFRICA

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8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic underlines the importance of geography and geographical analysis to tourism scholarship. This paper utilises a spatial approach to examine the impacts of the pandemic on tourism flows and examine the comparative performance of coastal tourism destinations in COVID-times. The case research is on South Africa one of the worst-hit countries in sub-Saharan Africa for the pandemic. Existing international literature points to a geographical change in consumer preferences for coastal destinations with reduced flows to traditional mass coastal destinations. The South African findings demonstrate the highly negative effects of the pandemic upon coastal tourism as a whole with the largest coastal cities experiencing the worst impacts. COVID-19 has caused a reversal of trends recorded for the past two decades for the benefits of coastal tourism to be concentrated in South Africa's large coastal cities. Instead, it has resulted in the relative improvement of smaller coastal centres and in particular of centres which are relatively well-located for access to the domestic markets offered by large cities. These South African findings signal potential shifts in consumer psyche and travel behaviour as an outcome of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-774
Number of pages8
JournalGeojournal of Tourism and Geosites
Volume42
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • South Africa
  • coastal tourism
  • tourism spatial impact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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