Apocalypse now or overreaction to coronavirus: The global cruise tourism industry crisis

Aleksandar Radic, Rob Law, Michael Lück, Haesang Kang, Antonio Ariza-Montes, Juan M. Arjona-Fuentes, Heesup Han

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


The current COVID-19 cruise tourism crisis has evolved to epic proportions and placed some of the cruise lines on the verge of bankruptcy. This research aimed to gain a deeper understanding of the crisis. Using an inductive qualitative approach, interviews were conducted with eight frequent cruisers who were at home and eight cruise ship employees who were employed by various cruise companies and who were working on cruise ships during the COVID-19 cruise tourism crisis. The findings revealed a systematic failure within the cruise industry management to understand the COVID-19 pandemic. Results of this study highlight the importance of health-related perceived risks on the nature and impact of the COVID-19 cruise tourism crisis. This study supports the overall theory of cruise tourism and crisis management by extending the chaos theory and its principals on the COVID-19 cruise tourism crisis. The managerial implications for cruise lines are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6968
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
  • Crisis management
  • Cruise tourism crisis
  • Qualitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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