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Post-covid tourism revealed: evidence from Malaysia

Hampton, Mark P., Jeyacheya, Julia, Nair, Vikneswaran (2023) Post-covid tourism revealed: evidence from Malaysia. Annals of Tourism Research, 103 . Article Number 103671. ISSN 0160-7383. (doi:10.1016/j.annals.2023.103671) (KAR id:102444)


This paper reports a scoping study early in a destination’s post-Covid recovery. It confirms that the crisis exposed tourism’s structural weaknesses in Penang, Malaysia, and reflects the precarity of tourism employment. The Covid crisis shone a light onto these - sometimes indistinct - processes and suggests lessons for destinations elsewhere. Global tourism faces significant post-Covid challenges with capital and labour relations being exposed and undergoing restructuring challenges. However, this disruption of the status quo could provide opportunities for tourism labour to renegotiate better working conditions and wages. It could also begin to challenge the uneven, fluid power relations between labour and capital and perhaps also start to address SDG 8 for tourism - the need for decent work. Our study also reveals the perhaps surprising vulnerability of the tourism sector in regions with a diverse economy, like Penang, where the local workforce can choose to engage in less precarious employment. Crucially, this is unlike many other coastal destinations that lack alternative employment options. For such destinations, the opportunities for labour to use this reset to start renegotiating with capital to reduce their precarity appears less obvious.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.annals.2023.103671
Uncontrolled keywords: Covid-19; post-pandemic tourism; tourism recovery; UNESCO; heritage tourism
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Mark Hampton
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2023 12:13 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 14:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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