Sustainability during the COVID pandemic: analysis of hotel association communication

Article


Zutshi, Ambika, Creed, Andrew, Bhattacharya,, Croy, Glen and Dahms, Sven. 2022. "Sustainability during the COVID pandemic: analysis of hotel association communication." Current Issues in Tourism. 25 (23), pp. 3840-3853. https://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2022.2057842
Article Title

Sustainability during the COVID pandemic: analysis of hotel association communication

ERA Journal ID19656
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsZutshi, Ambika, Creed, Andrew, Bhattacharya,, Croy, Glen and Dahms, Sven
Journal TitleCurrent Issues in Tourism
Journal Citation25 (23), pp. 3840-3853
Number of Pages14
Year2022
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1368-3500
1747-7603
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2022.2057842
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13683500.2022.2057842
Abstract

Hotels have implemented substantial sustainability initiatives. However, these efforts might be compromised during a crisis. How did sustainability in hotels fare during the COVID pandemic? To investigate, we reviewed national and regional hotel associations’ publicly available stakeholder communications during the COVID crisis. We collected data over four time periods to identify foci and changes. From website content analysis, viewed through a critical sustainability lens, six communication themes emerged. These were (1) operational procedures and technology; (2) staffing; (3) financial support; (4) health and hygiene; (5) marketing; and (6) community network building. Our findings revealed that hotel associations’ public communications were dominated by economic aspects, indicating a demotion of sociocultural and environmental elements of triple bottom line (TBL) considerations. That is, sustainability became largely silenced during the crisis, thus raising questions as to the centrality and meaningfulness of the previous sustainability efforts. The research contributes an in-depth insight that the hotel sector prioritizes economic elements during a crisis, which is problematic if a crisis is long-term and for any recovery efforts. We recommend centralizing sustainability in communications to sensitize and signal attention to strategic core needs.

KeywordsCrisis; triple bottom line; strategic sustainability; COVID; website content analysis; hotels
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350402. Hospitality management
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Byline AffiliationsDeakin University
Monash University
Abu Dhabi University, United Arab Emirates
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