Invitation to contribute a chapter: Crisis and disaster management in tourism


The aim of the Handbook on Crisis and Disaster Management in Tourism (published by Edward Elgar) is to bring together a comprehensive suite of chapters that will advance our understanding of crisis and disaster management over multiple types of events, timelines, impact levels, spatial scales, levels of government, private sector organisational arrangements and from a range of theoretical perspectives.


In recent years several books (Ritchie, 2009; Mair, Ritchie & Walters, 2019; Beirman, 2021) and a special issue of Annals of Tourism Research have provided useful overviews of the current state of knowledge. In an extensive review of the literature related to tourism disaster and crisis management Ritchie and Jaing (2019, p. 11) state that ‘Past studies are reliant on qualitative case study research and have a lack of conceptual and theoretical based papers’ and that many existing tourism crisis and disaster frameworks have not been suitably tested’. The handbook will aim to address this problem.


The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many gaps in our understanding of crisis management and recovery. Past research has been generally confined to issues within the tourist bubble with research being largely tourism focused. Moreover, research into recovery has often been on regional and national scales rather than global. There is scope for synthesising responses to and recovery from crisis and disaster events, both successful and unsuccessful, over multiple scales to test existing tourism theory and strategies and where necessary review these to enable them to more effectively deal with future events. Recovery is particularly important and needs to be examined from a range of scales and level of impact on tourists, the tourist industry and the communities that host tourism.

The preference for research that fails to consider the larger contexts in which crisis and disaster events occur has left significant gaps in understanding of issues beyond the tourism bubble. Issues that will have an enormous impact on tourism flows in the future may include the emerging fourth industrial revolution, transition to a carbon-neutral production system, emerging trends in global geopolitics, electric vehicles, climate change induced events, a move away from the current neoliberal approach to economic organisation etc. Under our current understanding of crisis and disaster management many of these events are unlikely to be seen as potential crisis events that could affect the tourism industry in the future. The handbook will provide an opportunity to extend our understanding of how tourism fits into the broader economy at national and international scales and how the responses in other sectors of the economy may have spill over effects on tourism.

There is also a need to reconsider views on prevention and preparedness to include ‘wicked problems’ that may create problems for the tourism industry in the future.  Beyond the concept of wicked problems are responses to so called ‘black swan’ events, described as extraordinary but seemingly unlikely events that are able to be explained but only in retrospect.

The handbook will provide an opportunity to address these issues.

Organisation of the handbook

While the final format will depend on the chapters that are accepted for inclusion the key sections the proposed organisation follows a combined traditional approach based on prevention, preparedness, response, recovery plus additional sections organised around themes that may include:

  • Theoretical perspectives including testing of existing theory and development of new theory
  • Issues related to the scale of crisis and disaster events. This may include magnitude, time, spatial issues and types of crises and disasters
  • Policy perspectives including division of responsibility between various levels of government and the private sector
  • Leadership issues
  • Case studies of specific types of crisis events eg terrorism, tsunami, bushfires, earthquakes, war, public health issues, political issues, personal crises
  • Lessons from past crises and disasters including COVID-19
  • Recovery strategies
  • Resilience
  • Preparing for future crisis events eg black swan events, transition to carbon neutrality, new forms of economic organisation (the Circular Economy), future global events
  • Industry and government perspectives

Structure of submissions

Authors are encouraged to submit chapters up to 7000 words (including references).

  • Send a short 200 to 300 word chapter proposal or an expression of interest by end-July 2021
  • Completed chapters are due by end-November 2021
  • Chapters will be peer reviewed and returned to authors by end-December 2021
  • Chapter revisions due by late-February 2022
  • Publication: mid-2022
  • Each author will receive one copy of the book



  • Beirman, D.  (in publication 2021), Tourism Risk, Crisis and Recovery. Sage Publications.
  • Mair, J., Ritchie, B. and Walters, G. (2016). Towards a research agenda for post-disaster and post-crisis recovery strategies for tourist destinations: a narrative review. Current Issues in Tourism, 19:1, 1-26.
  • Ritchie, BW. and Jaing, Y. (2019). A review of research on tourism risk, crisis and disaster management: Launching the Annals of tourism research curated collection on tourism risk, crisis and disaster management. Annals of Tourism Research, 79,