Tourism business responses to South Africa's covid-19 pandemic emergency

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30 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled tourism businesses to rapidly adjust operations in newer and more resilient ways as firms have to change priorities and respond to challenges, including of shifts in consumer demand. Extant research on tourism business responses and adaptations to COVID-19 highlights the significance of organizational resilience and ability of businesses to respond to uncertainty. Using a qualitative approach this paper investigates tourism business responses in South Africa, seemingly the country worst hit on the African continent by the COVID-19 crisis. The research analyses tourism business responses occurring in one of South Africa's tourism-dependent areas and thus most exposed to the radical effects of COVID-19. Key findings are of the self-reliant character of the community of tourism enterprises in and around Overstrand cluster in the Western Cape. Product diversification, reductions of prices, reduced staffing, changed marketing, greater inter-enterprise cooperation are several of the most significant business adjustments undertaken. With the negative financial impacts of COVID-19 on local tourism enterprises exacerbated by South African government measures for alcohol bans and beach closures there is evidence of a disconnect and lack of trust between the area's local businesses and national government.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-347
Number of pages10
JournalGeojournal of Tourism and Geosites
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Adaptation
  • COVID-19
  • Resilience
  • Responses
  • South Africa
  • Tourism business

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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