With stringent immigration controls implemented by governments around the world, the year 2020 has seen global aviation and tourism industries grind to a complete halt. However, COVID-19 seems to have been the catalyst for the rise of local tourism around the globe. While the literature has long focused on the demand and supply of international tourism, the significance of local tourism should not be overlooked. This paper uses a novel and comprehensive mixed methods approach that considers 1) internet keyword search trends for tourist destinations, 2) news announcements on social media platforms, 3) ridership data provided by ferry companies and 4) participant observations in the field to examine the growth of local tourism in Hong Kong during the city's first and second waves of COVID-19, shedding light on the growth of rural, island destinations in the city. By investigating the trends and patterns of local tourism in Hong Kong, this article offers recommendations for policymakers and tourism stakeholders not only in Hong Kong but also around the world to facilitate the development of local tourism. The paper concludes by asking readers to consider the myriad possibilities of repositioning tourist destinations to offer alternative tourism forms that are more sustainable and can be resilient to negative events such as COVID-19. Copyright © 2021 Informa UK Limited.
CitationLee, H. Y., & Leung, K. Y. K. (2021). Island ferry travel during COVID-19: Charting the recovery of local tourism in Hong Kong. Current Issues in Tourism. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/13683500.2021.1911964
- Local tourism
- Hong Kong
- Transport and tourism