Sustainability (Jun 2021)

The Art of Survival: Tourism Businesses in Thailand Recovering from COVID-19 through Brand Management

  • Siwarit Pongsakornrungsilp,
  • Pimlapas Pongsakornrungsilp,
  • Vikas Kumar,
  • Bhuritt Maswongssa

DOI
https://doi.org/10.3390/su13126690
Journal volume & issue
Vol. 13, no. 6690
p. 6690

Abstract

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The purpose of this study is to employ the existing theory on crisis management and corporate branding in a service context to explore how tourism businesses in Thailand can recover from the crisis caused by the impact of COVID-19. To manage the impact of COVID-19, the concepts of crisis management from different scholars are integrated, and crisis management is divided into three phases: the Pre-Crisis, Crisis, and Post-Crisis phases. This exploratory research employs stakeholder interviews to discover the impacts of COVID-19 on tourism businesses and attempts to develop guidelines for recovering tourism businesses within the service context. Our findings indicate that a strong brand and its proper management can help firms to survive during the crisis period. Moreover, our findings highlight the importance of communication for engaging with all staff during the recovery period. This paper sheds light on how a brand is employed as a proactive strategy to mitigate the impacts of the crisis. Most brands have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and only strong brands are able to survive. Our study also adds to the limited empirical evidence on tourism business recovery during COVID-19 in the context of a developing country. From practitioners’ perspectives, trust, solid relationships, and honest communication with their business partners play an important role in survival after the crisis. Additionally, in this paper, corporate branding is conceived as a strategic tool that affects how staff and stakeholders can collaborate and unite in response to the crisis.

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