Special Issue "Leisure, Sport and Tourism in Unpredictable Times—Issues, Challenges and Future Visions"

A special issue of Societies (ISSN 2075-4698).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Marko Perić
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Rijeka, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management, 51410 Opatija, Croatia
Interests: management; sport; tourism; events; business models

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change, natural disasters, economic downturns, terrorism and COVID-19 are just some of the major crises that we have been faced with in this century, so far. Leisure, sports and tourism cannot remain immune to such threats, as the consequences would be catastrophic for the entire industry. On the other hand, these threats can allow businesses to have a new, clean start. Destinations and businesses must adapt to the unpredictable environment and prepare strategies that will decrease risk and enable a sustainable future for participants, businesses and destinations, as well as sport and tourism in general. Although predictions related to what leisure, sport and tourism will look like in the future may be thankless, we should not stop asking questions…

With all these concerns in mind, what role will leisure, sport and tourism play in the future? Will organisational and operational activities of leisure, sport and tourism businesses change in response to such economic and natural concerns? What response policies and management techniques can be applied to decrease risk and uncertainty? How will businesses ensure the safety of all leisure, sport and tourism participants? Who benefits from the current business structures, and how could things be done differently? How can we reach a level of sustainability in leisure, sport and tourism businesses? What will be the role of technology in leisure, sport and tourism businesses in the future? Will we witness the rise of new and innovative business models in leisure, sport and tourism? What are the key directions for future research?

We urge our colleagues in academia to address the above-mentioned topics from an economic and socio-cultural perspective. This Special Issue aims to stimulate discussion and the exchange of ideas related to the proposed theme and beyond. We expect to add to the debate between academics, researchers, practitioners and policymakers from the leisure, sport and tourism fields. Innovative empirical, theoretical, and review articles focused on the management, governance and policy of leisure, sport and tourism during and after uncertain times will be considered for publication. Inter-disciplinary research is encouraged.

Prof. Marko Perić
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as conceptual papers are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Societies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • leisure
  • sport
  • tourism
  • uncertainty
  • challenges
  • innovative business models
  • future trends

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Tourism Getting Back to Life after COVID-19: Can Artificial Intelligence Help?
Societies 2021, 11(4), 115; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11040115 - 22 Sep 2021
Viewed by 670
Abstract
Measures aimed at keeping physical and social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic have started to be a big challenge for service industries all over the world. The utilization of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI robots) in hospitality and tourism can be [...] Read more.
Measures aimed at keeping physical and social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic have started to be a big challenge for service industries all over the world. The utilization of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI robots) in hospitality and tourism can be imposed as a potential safety-related problem solver. This study explores consumers’ intentions to use hospitality services once all restrictions related to COVID-19 have been relaxed as well as their perception of how important they find some of the safety-related protective measures when visiting accommodation facilities. Respondents find that more rigorous cleaning techniques, additional disinfection, and hand sanitizer stations are the most important safety-related protective measures when staying at the accommodation facility. Although the respondents do not perceive AI robots as an important protective measure or beneficial in delivering a catering service, the results indicate some significant differences between more and less risk-averse travelers suggesting some potential strategic pathways during the crisis but also in the post-coronavirus future. Full article
Article
Emic Views of Community Resilience and Coastal Tourism Development
Societies 2021, 11(3), 94; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11030094 - 10 Aug 2021
Viewed by 573
Abstract
Coastal communities are among the most rapidly changing, institutionally complex, and culturally diverse in the world, and they are among the most vulnerable to anthropogenic change. While being a driver of anthropogenic change, tourism can also provide socio-economic alternatives to declining natural resource-based [...] Read more.
Coastal communities are among the most rapidly changing, institutionally complex, and culturally diverse in the world, and they are among the most vulnerable to anthropogenic change. While being a driver of anthropogenic change, tourism can also provide socio-economic alternatives to declining natural resource-based livelihoods for coastal residents. The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of small-scale cruise tourism on coastal community resiliency in Petersburg, Alaska. Exploring these impacts through resiliency theory’s lens of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity, we employed ethnographic research methods that emphasize emic viewpoints to determine how residents see this form of tourism affecting the resiliency of valued community culture, institutions, and traditional livelihoods. Findings indicate that with purposeful engagement in niche cruise tourism involving boats with 250 passengers or less, and an active rejection of the large cruise ship industry, Petersburg exhibits increased adaptive capacity to promote the resilience of valued community institutions and heritage. This work draws needed recognition to the diversity of activities that fall under the label of cruise tourism, including the distinct implications of smaller-scale, niche cruise tourism for the resilience of coastal communities. It also highlights the need to capture emic perspectives to understand the politics of community resiliency. Full article
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Article
The Mediating Role of Major Sport Events in Visitors’ Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction, and Intention to Revisit a Destination
Societies 2021, 11(3), 78; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11030078 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 476
Abstract
Sport events represent a popular motive for travel and can bring a huge influx of visitors with multiple benefits for a destination. The purpose of this article is to analyze the effect of previous experience with the destination on future behavior in the [...] Read more.
Sport events represent a popular motive for travel and can bring a huge influx of visitors with multiple benefits for a destination. The purpose of this article is to analyze the effect of previous experience with the destination on future behavior in the form of intention to visit/revisit it and to shed more light on the relationship between visitors’ satisfaction and their future revisit intentions depending on their previous experience with the destination and the sporting event. The research setting was EuroBasket 2015, Zagreb, Croatia (EB), the largest and the most important basketball competition for national teams in Europe. A face-to-face survey with visitors of each of the 15 played games was conducted on site. In total, 765 questionnaires were collected. For the purpose of this paper, only foreign visitors (461 questionnaires) were included in the analysis. The connection between past experience and future intention to visit was tested with Pearson’s chi-squared test, differences in satisfaction levels—using the t-test for independent samples. In the next step of the analysis, we performed an analysis of impact asymmetry (IA) and of impact range (IR). The necessary input data were obtained through an OLS regression model with binary-coded dummy variables. The results showed that repeat visitors are more likely to express an intention to revisit the destination than first-time visitors, but the level of total satisfaction with EB was the same for both groups (first-time visitors and repeat visitors). The most influential event attributes for overall satisfaction were organization of EB in general, layout of the arena, and preparation of the city for the event. The study expanded the theoretical understanding of the visitors’ satisfaction with sporting event attributes as well their intention to revisit the destination. Full article
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Article
Surf Tourism in Uncertain Times: Resident Perspectives on the Sustainability Implications of COVID-19
Societies 2021, 11(3), 75; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11030075 - 07 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 581
Abstract
Surf tourism is the principal development driver in many coastal communities around the world. Surf tourism development brings economic opportunities to residents in coastal destinations, but has also been criticized for associations with gentrification, pollution, and inequity. While many have speculated that surfers [...] Read more.
Surf tourism is the principal development driver in many coastal communities around the world. Surf tourism development brings economic opportunities to residents in coastal destinations, but has also been criticized for associations with gentrification, pollution, and inequity. While many have speculated that surfers represent a crisis-resistant tourist segment, this had not yet been empirically demonstrated, nor had the sustainability implications of their travel during crises been explored. Building on ethnographic observations and two interview phases with 25 resident surfers in Bocas del Toro, Panama, this is the first study to do both. The findings reveal that the pandemic exacerbated existing sustainability challenges by accelerating development near surf-breaks, fomenting tensions within the surf community (related to surf tourism business operations and the distribution of benefits) and facilitating residents to surf more frequently—exacerbating surf-resource crowding. Evidence also revealed, however, a potential shift in surfers’ collective consciousness in the context of the pandemic, which reduced conflicts between visiting and resident surfers. This paper exposes the urgent need for stakeholders in surf communities, and particularly surf tourism business owners, to cooperate in order to preserve surf experiences that are vital to resident mental/physical health and well-being, as well as the attractiveness as a surf tourism destination. Full article
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Article
The Importance of Sport Event on Hotel Performance for Restarting Tourism After COVID-19
Societies 2020, 10(4), 90; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc10040090 - 25 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1541
Abstract
The aim of this study was to illustrate the importance of major sports events, such as marathons, and their economic impact on hotel performance during these unpredictable times for the events and tourism industry. The analysis was focused on the economic impact of [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to illustrate the importance of major sports events, such as marathons, and their economic impact on hotel performance during these unpredictable times for the events and tourism industry. The analysis was focused on the economic impact of the marathon event on hotel performance in the area hosting the race. For that purpose, we selected the Vienna City Marathon, held yearly in April, as a case. We hypothesized that there will be a higher impact of hotel performance a day prior to the marathon in regard to the hotel performance in multiple nonmarathon occasions. As indicators for hotel performance we have chosen hotel occupancy, revenue per available room, average daily rate and total revenue recorded for: day (always Saturday) prior to the marathon, year average, April average and average Saturday in April. Results from this study revealed significant effects of a marathon on three major hotel performance indicators (i.e., hotel occupancy, revenue per available room and total revenue). Findings from this study could serve the local government or event planners after the current crisis to justify financial investments in hosting a marathon or similar sports events for restarting tourism. Full article
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