Leadership issues and challenges in the tourism industry: A Hong Kong perspective

Adele Ladkin, Karin Weber

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines current leadership issues and challenges in the tourism industry with a particular focus on Hong Kong, a trend-setting locality for the industry. Employing qualitative research, in-depth interviews were conducted with 10 highly respected industry leaders, all having long-established careers involving extensive local and global experience. These leaders represent a wide variety of sectors of the tourism industry. Study findings highlighted specific skills (business knowledge, communication, self-reflection), personal characteristics (determination, open-mindedness) and excellent relations with other parties (team support, respect) as key attribute requirements of industry leaders. The industry's universal "people orientation" emerged as the dominant issue that requires particular leadership skills with regard to interpersonal relations and communications. The emergence of new technologies and changes among employees were identified as the two key industry trends that require changing leadership skills. The implications of these findings are discussed and areas for future research highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-288
Number of pages15
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


  • Hong Kong
  • Leadership
  • Tourism industry challenges

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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