Has COVID-19 changed tourists’ behaviour?

Prof. Haiyan SONG
Associate Dean and Chair Professor of Tourism
Mr and Mrs Chan Chak Fu Professor in International Tourism
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Date: 01 March 2024 (Friday)
Time: 10:00 am to 11:30 am
Venue: E22-G015
Host: Prof. Yuansi HOU, Associate Professor in Integrated Resort and Tourism Management


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on tourist behaviour. Pandemic-induced uncertainties and risks and psychological reactions to them have played predominant roles in affecting tourists’ travel decisions during the pandemic. In addition, social media and internet technologies have facilitated such changes. Understanding tourists’ behavioural changes as a result of the pandemic is crucial for tourism businesses to manage and sustain the tourism recovery post-COVID-19. We aimed to address the questions of whether and how tourists behave differently during or after the pandemic and to provide a narrative review of the research on tourist behaviours over the same period with a view to critically assessing their theoretical and practical contributions and identifying gaps for future research. This review identified five themes: tourists’ decision making, psychological response, responsible behaviour, communication, and information technology adoption. The results indicate that behavioural changes vary by types of tourists, with some changes likely to be permanent and others transitory.



Professor Haiyan Song is Mr and Mrs Chan Chak Fu Professor in International Tourism in the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His research interests are in tourism and hospitality economics with particular focuses on tourism and hotel demand modelling and forecasting, consumer behaviour research, and tourism and hospitality supply chain management. He has played significant roles in a number of international collaborative research projects, covering tourist satisfaction and service quality indices, tourism demand forecasts, web-based tourism demand forecasting systems, and tourist satellite account development. Prof. Song has published more than 250 journal articles in both mainstream economics journals as well tourism hospitality journals such as International Journal of Hospitality Management, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Annals of Tourism Research, Tourism Management, and Journal of Travel Research.

 All are welcome!