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Gone in a Flash: COVID-19 and Social Sustainability Impacts at Melaka World Heritage City

Tan, E.ORCID: 0000-0002-1396-762X and Teoh, S. (2021) Gone in a Flash: COVID-19 and Social Sustainability Impacts at Melaka World Heritage City. EATSJ: Euro-Asia Tourism Studies Journal, 2 .

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In recent years, there have been intense debates about the impacts of overtourism and unsustainable tourism development at tourism hotspots such as World Heritage Sites (WHS). However, the COVID-19 pandemic has upturned the debates surrounding overtourism to no-tourism. The economic impacts of the global pandemic have been devastating. Whilst there has been heavy emphasis on the impacts of the economic fallout on global tourism, there is limited attention on the social sustainability implications of the crisis. This paper argues that successful recovery from crisis events such as COVID-19 requires a grassroot-led strategy, wherein destination stakeholders’ stories and voices are given priority, to achieve socially sustainable tourism development in a WHS. Applying a qualitative methodology with a case-study approach, this paper adopts a destination-supply perspective to investigate social sustainability implications on destination stakeholders, in the UNESCO World Heritage Historic City of Melaka. Narratives from semi-structured interviews with destination stakeholders are analysed and a proposed approach for social sustainability at WHSs is presented.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Publisher: EATSA
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