Published: 24 September 2020

Centre for Competitiveness of the Visitor Economy hosts Tourism Recovery and Competitiveness webinar

On Friday 11 September, the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management’s Centre for Competitiveness of the Visitor Economy (COVE) held a webinar for international academics and students to promote their research on the impact of Covid-19 on the hospitality and tourism sector.

Some 75 attendees from around the world listened to Prof Allan Williams, Dr Anyu Liu, Dr Tracy Xu and Dr Frankie O’Connell showcase their research from the past six months. The topics covered included:

  • Tourism intentions, risk and uncertainty
  • Impact of fiscal policy on tourism productivity and recovery
  • Impacts on the hospitality workforce: Resilience and recovery
  • Impact on air transport passenger markets: Evidence from the Chinese market.

Commenting on the webinar, Dr Isabel Rodriguez said: “It was fantastic to listen to what our colleagues have been working on this year in response to Covid-19. Risk and uncertainty are unprecedented barriers to tourism recovery. These have been key research topics in our Centre and it’s fascinating to see how they’ve been reshaped by the new context. Today’s technology has made it easier for us to showcase our research worldwide and we hope to host similar events in the future.”

PhD researcher Jose Melenez added: “It’s inspiring to learn about the ongoing research conducted by COVE, not only to understand the impact of Covid-19 on tourism and hospitality but to build a more resilient, evidence-based, theory-informed and inclusive future. I feel honoured to be part of COVE and work alongside leading scholars in the field.”

PhD researcher Husna Zainal Abidin said: “I found the webinar to be insightful as we were updated with the current research on trends and impacts of Covid-19 on the tourism industry. Knowledge shared on the airline industry was particularly interesting due to how severely affected the sector is.”

COVE graphic
COVE research areas

Competitiveness of the visitor economy has been a long-standing theme of research at Surrey. COVE as a research centre was established earlier this year – transforming from a research group previously set up by Prof Allan Williams. Currently, COVE has 18 staff members and 12 PhD students. COVE is dedicated to research on the driving forces and influencing factors of competitiveness in the visitor economy across firm, sector and destinations levels.

The Centre’s research focuses on four key areas: 

  • Economic modelling and forecasting
  • Employment, labour mobility, flexibility, productivity and gender
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship, risk and uncertainty
  • Visitor experience and destination marketing.

Discover our courses in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and find out more about the Centre for Competitiveness of the Visitor Economy.

Watch the COVE webinar in full.

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