The article «Post-COVID-19 recovery of island tourism using a smart tourism destination framework» has been published in the Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, Q1 of JCR. It is Open Access.
COVID-19 has caused an unprecedented global crisis. Tourism has been one of the industries most severely affected. The recent COVID-19 outbreak has exposed the fragility of islands that depend on tourism, especially those built around mass tourism. For these islands that are highly dependent on external tourism, basing the recovery on proximity tourism is not a valid option. In order to find a solution for these destinations, the available literature and proposals on recovering tourism after the COVID-19 crisis were reviewed and framed in an integrated smart tourism destination framework that was proposed. These actions were then validated using a Delphi method with 36 participants from all the stakeholders in the island of Gran Canaria, Spain. The most agreed-upon actions regarded developing new business models around tourism and new sectors of economic activity, ensuring the health and safety of those involved in tourism, helping tourism companies financially, and explaining the situation of the destination in the origin markets. The results demonstrated that, far from the rhetoric sometimes associated with smart tourism destinations’ proposals and actions, using concrete and specific actions oriented to specific cases can provide a valuable roadmap for destination management, crisis management preparation, and post-crisis recuperation.