Vol. 2 (S) Jun. 2020
Article ID. JHSSR-1036-2020[S]
The Coronavirus Pandemic and Tourism in Southeast Asia: Case Material from Malaysia
Coronavirus, tourism, crises, impacts, responses, Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Sabah
During the past two decades there has been a substantial literature published on a range of crises in Southeast Asia and how these have affected the tourism industry in the region. These crises comprise natural and environmental disasters, epidemics and pandemics, drastic downturns in the world economy, and terrorism and political conflict. The latest peril is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; it has especially serious consequences for tourism development. Since the SARS epidemic of 2002-2004 the Southeast Asian economies have become increasingly integrated into those of East Asia; specifically, China’s contribution to tourism in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has grown exponentially. In this paper some of the most significant literature on crises and tourism in Southeast Asia is examined, with a focus on the East Asian market taking case material on the impacts of the pandemic on one particular part of Malaysia, the state of Sabah, which has enjoyed substantial success in attracting Chinese and Korean tourists to northern Borneo. Some of the policy and practical responses to the effects on the tourism industry are also considered.