COVID-19 Impact on Tourism: The System Thinking Approach Applied to the Case of Portugal
This work applies systems theory and tools to build a flexible framework for sustainable tourism in Portugal due to the Covid-19 impacts. The objectives are (1) to explore the cause-effect relationships between and among the variables involved; (2) to develop a causal loop diagram that resumes the role of tourism stakeholders and (3) to identify policy directions to enhance Portuguese tourism. Tourism recovery in the country will depend mainly on interlinked factors of economic, social and health fields. Its complexity requires new approaches in tourism research, such as system thinking models and testing tools such as neural simulation. As well as statistical data and tourism official documents, a panel of European specialists has been used. The proposed approach is innovative as it helps the integration of tourism theory with other fields, and outlines policy solutions to the situation in Portugal which can be dynamically adapted. A qualitative analysis pointed out how crucial are the policy making activities (rebalancing measures) counteracting the causes and negative consequences of the problem.