UC Berkeley Tourism Studies Working Group - news_detail

2020-2021 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to present


Featuring Yang Yang and Dean MacCannell with discussant, David Stein

Friday, December 11, 4PM-6PM
Zoom Link [click here to enter the webinar]


Monitoring and Analyzing the Impact of COVID-19 on Global Tourism:
A COVID-19 Tourism Index

Yang Yang, Associate Professor
Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered the global outlook on health and economics. This presentation describes the development and calibration of an analytical tool named the “COVID19tourism index” to monitor the pandemic’s tourism effects. As a powerful numerical and visual tool, the index provides important information related to potential travel and tourism recovery at the global, regional, and country levels. Compared to a benchmark of “normal” levels, the index offers insight into the tourism industry’s recovery process along with the pandemic’s impacts on numerous aspects of tourism. It covers a variety of countries, and daily data provide a granular perspective on the curve of tourism recovery. This curve can help tourism stakeholders better prepare for and address the consequences of pandemics. Based on a web-GIS dashboard developed, several parties (e.g., travel and tourism practitioners, researchers, travelers, and government entities) can search for and visualize up-to-date and retrospective data.

Tourism After COVID

Dean MacCannell, Professor and Chair Emeritus
College of Environmental Design and Geography, UC Davis

Tourism after COVID will most probably return to looking exactly like it looked before COVID. COVID does not reduce tourist desire to travel. Quite the opposite. Viewed from the standpoint of general humanity and human progress, this is not entirely a good thing. The temporary impact of COVID on tourism can be viewed positively if it gives the tourist receiving areas of the world a breather and reveals the benefits of life without tourists. Every destination should be using this time to model future sustainable local economies with fewer visitors. The places that experienced over-tourism before COVID might re-calibrate their dependency and raise their rates, and/or increase policing of anti-social tourist behavior. A general theory of tourism/culture will be introduced to separate adaptive from maladaptive tourism. So far, the largest negative impact of COVID has been on maladaptive tourism—i.e., its massification via floating city cruise ships, dirt cheap airfares, cramped and tacky resorts. There are survival lessons for all of humanity to be learned from experiencing COVID. Tourists and tourism researchers take note.


Speaker Bios:
Dr. Yang Yang is currently an Associate Professor of Tourism and Hospitality Management and Assistant Director of the U.S.-Asia Center for Tourism & Hospitality Research at Temple University. He got Ph.D. in Geography, Master of Statistics, and M.A in Economics from the University of Florida, as well as an M.Phil in Hotel and Tourism Management from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Dr. Yang’s major research interests lie in tourism demand analysis, big data analytics, as well as hotel financial and real estate analysis. With a solid education background in tourism, geography, economics, and statistics, Dr. Yang is able to thoroughly investigate research questions in the tourism and hospitality industry and offer unique insights and perspectives. After ten years of research experience, Dr. Yang’s academic papers have been published in top-tier tourism and hospitality journals. At the same time, he has been serving as associate editor of Annals of Tourism Research as well as the editorial board member for many prestigious journals.

Dean MacCannell is professor and chair emeritus of Environmental Design and Geography at the University of California, Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. His recent publications include “The Moral Economy of Tourism,” (Lusophone, 2020): “Leisure Class,” (The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2019); “Tourism, Authenticity and Art” (The Journal of Tourism History, 2018); “Ethics and Tourism” (Recerca, 2018); “Ethnographer of Modernity” (Tourism Tribune, 2018—in Mandarin).

David Stein is a city and regional planner who has worked in many parts of the world, including California, New England, North Carolina, New Jersey, India, and Israel. A graduate of the Department of City and Regional Planning in Berkeley, and a veteran of the Free Speech Movement, he has spent much of his life watching with fascination the mostly futile attempts of the human race to create viable political, social and physical environments for itself. He has worked as a planner in such varied environments as the regions of New England, greater Los Angeles, New Delhi, northern Israel, the Port of New York and statewide in North Carolina.

Growing up in India in the 50’s, David Stein observed the population “explosion” first-hand, as that country grew from 370 million inhabitants when he arrived to more than 1.3 billion today. At the same time it has created a new class of American-style industrialists and entrepreneurs, including the world’s third largest cohort of billionaires in a country with the largest population of impoverished persons on the planet, while abandoning centuries of a culture of humility, modesty and tolerance.  Internal tourism has grown from small, localized visits to masses traveling to virtually every part of the nation.  The impacts of excesses, from material goods to pollution to mass tourism have disrupted patterns of living without providing decent alternatives, making the whole enterprise even more disturbing and fraught, with rising competitiveness and indifference to the needs of society.

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