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Living with and managing multiple crises: the tourism industry in Northern Ireland post-conflict, post-Brexit and post-COVID-19

   Ulster Business School

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  Prof Stephen Boyd  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Very few regions are free of crises and the recent COVID-19 pandemic would suggest that they are going to become a more pressing management issue in the future and that all destination regions are going to have to adopt strategies to live with them. Past research by tourism scholars has shown that responses have too often been reactive as opposed to proactive. This project aims to develop a management framework that enables the tourism industry for Northern Ireland to live with, and manage, multiple crises. By adopting a stakeholder engagement approach,  concepts such as chaos and chaotic environments, resilience, vulnerability and adaptive change have much potential in the development of a crises management framework. It is therefore envisaged that thinking along these lines of scholarly enquiry will enable a more proactive approach to crises management.

Established research has shown that tourism for any given destination region can be measured over time on the development pathway it adopts, and that for most destinations, free of long-term disturbance, they move through well defined stages of their life cycle. For regions such as Northern Ireland that have faced past crises, growth trajectory has been interrupted and growth only occurs post crises but where recovery has not been immune to wider changing political and economic environments (financial crises, Brexit). The COVID-19 pandemic is the most recent challenge the sector has had to face, and recent evidence at a global scale would appear to show that recovery from the pandemic will be unprecedented and create challenges in prioritising sustainability over recovery. Developing a management framework that takes into account multiple crises is therefore essential, designed through engagement with stakeholders that are best placed to understand the challenges that the sector has and will face and the need for them to be effectively managed. 


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