Crisis Management Practices in Tourism SMEs During the Covid-19 Pandemic



Background and purpose: This study examines crisis management practices (CMPs) for micro, small, and medi­um-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the field of tourism during the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The purpose of this study is to analyse how tourism SMEs reacted to the crisis caused by the pandemic. The present research aims to determine which operational CMPs were deployed by tourism SMEs to minimize the impact of the crisis.
Design/Methodology/Approach: This study focuses on the following types of tourism SMEs – lodging facilities, food and beverage (F&B) facilities, and tourist agencies (TA). A total of 574 valid online questionnaires were obtained from SME managers. The structured questionnaire included 27 CMPs belonging to the four dimensions of crisis management – workforce, cost control, organizational support and marketing CMPs. Exploratory factor analysis and the non-parametric Kruskal Wallis H test and Mann-Whitney U test were used to investigate SMEs response to the crisis.
Results: Results indicate that SMEs primarily focus on the following CMP dimensions (respectively): workforce, cost control, organizational support, and promotional and customer-related marketing practices. Results show that there are statistically significant differences in the usage of different CMPs among the different types of SMEs.
Conclusion: The use of selected variables enables an internationally comparable benchmarking process and fa­cilitates the improvement of tourism SMEs crisis management. The conclusion provides suggestions for future re­search and useful information for scholars, policy makers, and tourism managers.
Keywords: COVID-19, Crisis management, Slovenia, SMEs, Tourism

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