Business model adaptation as a strategic response to crises: navigating the COVID-19 pandemic

Teerawut Chanyasak, Mehmet Ali Koseoglu, Brian King, Omer Faruk Aladag

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aims to explore how hotels adapt their business models as a strategic response to crisis situations. It sheds light on the processes and methods of business model adaptation during severe crisis situations, such as the COVID-19 outbreak.

Design/methodology/approach: A single-case study was conducted. Data were collected from the owner/manager of a boutique hotel chain in Chiang Mai, Thailand through an extensive interviewing process. The authors also examined corporate documents. The authors then re-organized the material as a coherent narrative about how the company navigated the COVID-19 crisis. 

Findings: The findings show that the hotels in the study adapted their business models by cutting costs through stopping non-essential operations, increasing non-room revenues and adding new revenue channels, bringing in cash from advance bookings, securing financial support from creditors, leveraging government support and training staff for the “new normal.” 

Originality/value: Few previous studies have focused on business model adaptation during the COVID-19 crisis. The investigation of this largely neglected area provides two main contributions. First, it extends the literature on crisis management in hospitality firms by examining business model adaptation patterns and processes during unprecedented crisis conditions. Second, it provides managerial insights and a business model adjustment framework to help practitioners in urban settings in their efforts toward recovery from the COVID crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616 - 635
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Cities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2022


  • Business model innovation
  • Business strategy
  • Chiang Mai
  • COVID-19
  • Crisis
  • Pandemics
  • Thailand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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