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Tourism in Times of Pandemic

Poster of Tourism in Times of Pandemic

Perspectives from Southeast Asia

A one-day hybrid workshop co-organized by:
the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Chiang Mai Rajabhat University
the Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC, CNRS-MEAE)
the Faculty of Humanities, Chiang Mai University
2 December 2021 - from 8.30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Bangkok time, UTC+07:00)
Location: Office of Digital Education (3rd Floor)
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Chiang Mai Rajabhat University
202 Changhuak Rd, Tambon Chang Phueak, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai

Registration required:                 
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc3rCBsuyjgoO13yeigjlIyvC7mZns4M4lSrWkn61PEjQOtPQ/viewform

Southeast Asian economies are highly reliant on tourism that contributed with 393,12 billion US dollars to the GDP of the region in 2019. However, global tourism is a volatile sector. Not only it is sensitive to perceptions of personal threat, security and human well-being (Chan and King, 2020), but is facilitated by — and is dependent on — the diplomatic relations between countries, the openness of markets and transnational circulation. These have been profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis that has changed the rules, at least in the short term, of international traveling, threatening the sustainability of the tourism models at work, mainly based on short-term vacations encouraged by the intensity of the air trafic and the exploitation of territorial resources. As a consequence of the pandemics, international arrivals in Southeast Asia dropped by 81% in 2020 (from 143 millions in 2019 arrivals to 26,1 in 2020) due to the COVID-19 pandemics. Travels in the region has been made possible only under a heavy regulatory system that includes bureaucratic procedure, frequent PCR testing and quarantine. While, after reaching a vaccination rates of national populations, Southeast Asian countries are presently trying to figure out how to smoothen such systems in order to engage into the recovery stage for the tourism sector, local societies have been suffering from almost two years of crisis and income deprivation. This one day workshop aims to offer contextualized assessments of the COVID-19 impacts on tourism localities, activities, and workers. Also, it aims to bring attention to the resilience of the tourism actors in elaborating adaptive or reconversion tactics that cope with the situation of crisis. Finally, it opens up the debate about the possible future evolutions of the sector: will the COVID-19 cries help innovate the sector? Will it facilitate the evolution of tourism models towards further sustainability? The workshop, co-organized by the IRASEC and the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences of Rajabhat University (Chiang Mai) brings together a bunch of tourism scholars and professionals based in Southeast Asia and North America and hopes to contribute to a regional and comparative research agenda.

Download the short program, booklet and poster

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