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Title: How do hotels in developing countries manage the impact of COVID-19? The case of Lebanese hotels
Authors: Laurent B. Yacoub 
Hajjar, Samer 
Affiliations: Department of Tourism & Hotel Management 
Department of Business Administration 
Keywords: Crisis management
Hospitality sector
Future of hotels
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Emerald
Part of: International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Volume: 33
Issue: 3
Start page: 929
End page: 948
Purpose – Many researchers have attempted to outline the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the growth of economies across the world. Few researchers consider addressing the COVID-19 pandemic as a crisis that needs effective crisis management measures. In particular, there is a gap in research that maps a way forward that managers can use as a guide to recover and revive the hospitality industry after the
pandemic. This paper aims to fill this gap.
Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected through interviews with 26 hoteliers managing 4- and 5-star hotels in the city of Beirut. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis.
Findings – Findings show that the level of preparedness toward dealing with such a pandemic had been low. Hotels have been focused on ensuring transparency with the employees, providing adequate information and decentralizing power to the departmental levels to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. Operationally,
hotel managers are shifting focus toward more safety-conscious operations across all departments; emphasizing the importance of local tourists rather than complete dependence on foreigners as a source of revenue; increasing flexibility in bookings and cancellations to incentivize customers. Shifts are expected to be made, making operations in hotels more technologically-aligned and focused.
Research limitations/implications – The aim of this study is to address the managerial reactions of the hotel industry during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the potential strategic approaches that hotels might adopt in the future. A focus on the Lebanese context can provide scholars with a new model and inform managers on how to approach a crisis of such nature and magnitude, especially in a country that is facing its
worst political and economic crisis. The main challenge of this paper is that it examines the hotel industry only in the Lebanese context. The development of the hospitality sector cannot be studied outside the institutional context in which it operates.
Originality/value – This paper fulfills an identified need to study to which extent hotel managers were prepared to deal with a crisis the size of a global pandemic, what shifts in strategies were implemented and what is the future of the hospitality industry?
DOI: 10.1108/IJCHM-08-2020-0814
Ezproxy URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Department of Tourism & Hotel Management
Department of Business Administration

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