COVID-19 prevention in hotels: Ritualized host-guest interactions

Keheng Xiang, Wei Jue Huang, Fan Gao, Qin Lai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


As COVID-19 prevention efforts have become normalized, conflicts between guests and hotel staff, who must adhere to government protocols, can have a serious impact on host-guest interactions. Drawing on interaction ritual chain theory, this research explores the ritualized mechanism of host-guest interactions during the pandemic from the perspectives of staff and guests. By combining video ethnography and interviews, this study identifies the ritual ingredients, processes, outcomes, and collective symbols of COVID-19 prevention measures. Based on the attitudes and performance paths of staff and guests, the interaction chain may become longer or shorter, and result in guests becoming “insiders” or “outsiders” and leaving the interaction space. An integrated model of host-guest interactions based on interaction ritual theory is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103376
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • COVID-19 prevention
  • Host-guest interaction
  • Hotel
  • Interaction ritual chain
  • Video ethnography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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