Tourism Destination Crisis Management: The case study of Lesvos island, Greece
Tourism industry, one of the most dynamic industries worldwide is also one of the most vulnerable to crisis and disaster. This is mainly due to the fact that tourism is closely related and influenced by many external factors such as exchange rates, the political and economic environment, climate, and weather conditions. Tourism success is directly linked to the ability of the destination to offer tourists a safe and enjoyable stay. In a changing globalized world where crises are affecting people’s lives, we are called not only to manage crises but also to manage every communication impact, making crisis management an integral part of effective Destination Management. Lesvos an island of the North Aegean Region in Greece is the case study area of this paper. The island has been through the economic crisis of 2009 and the refugee crisis of 2015. The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of the island’s local community, tourism stakeholder’s, and tourists visiting the island, how effectively the refugee crisis was managed at the destination. In the first part of the paper literature review is being conducted for crises management in tourism destinations, the refugee crisis in Greece and in North Aegean Region and more particular in Lesvos island. Primary research was conducted, and 262 filled questionnaires were collected. The findings and the conclusion are useful for the tourism authorities of Lesvos and for island destinations of the Mediterranean with similar characteristics and challenges.
Keywords: Destination Management Organization, Crisis Management, Refugee crisis, Lesvos, Greece
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