Postdisaster Recovery in the Tourism Business: A Case of Flooding in Chongqing, China

Postdisaster Recovery in the Tourism Business: A Case of Flooding in Chongqing, China


The largest flood in recent decades has struck urban Chongqing in Southwest China. As the waters recede, tourism industry professional Lian is now faced with postdisaster management for reviving Chongqing’s tourism activities. What steps will she take to reduce the impact of the flood on local tourism? Lian has recently risen to executive leadership in Chongqing’s Tourism Planning Board. In her previous job, she saw firsthand how the Wenchuan earthquake impacted tourism activities, as well as tourists’ perceptions toward the destination. Lian learned valuable business recovery strategies from the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake that she now needs to adapt to city of Chongqing. She has received suggestions and advice from several local tour operators and other tourism agency leaders—for example, to encourage development of “dark tourism” ventures, where visitors view postflooding devastation. Lian is not sure about that strategy’s feasibility, but she is considering it alongside other possibilities. She needs to prioritize effective disaster recovery management, which will help tour operators stay in business and turn a profit during the upcoming busy season. This case invites students to consider a number of important recovery development decisions with respect to rebuilding tourists’ confidence, minimizing the impact of the disaster, and preventive measures for similar situations in the future.

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