SUSTAINABLE STAYCATIONS FOR SMALL COMMUNITY DESTINATIONS
Staycations is a term used to refer to the practice of taking a holiday or vacation close to home. It is a form of domestic tourism where the tourists stay within or close to their home destination region. Prior to the COVID 19 pandemic, concerns over the sustainability of tourism as a global socio-economic activity prompted calls for staycations to be embraced as a form of tourism that could be more sustainable, especially for small communities. The COVID 19 pandemic has meant that in many countries staycations are the only form of holiday available or likely to be available for the next several years. For tourism researchers this has been an under-researched area lacking the appeal of exploring global patterns and destinations. For tourism practitioners staycations can be challenging. Staycations require changes to promotional campaigns. Staycations may not support all the existing tourism businesses as local residents may not see the need to participate in tours, packages and experiences that were previously designed for outsiders. Staycations could be particularly challenging for small communities highly dependent on international tourism and/or who do not have local populations with the affluence and freedom to travel at all. This webinar seeks to explore these challenges, identify further challenges and offer some solutions and future directions for small communities seeking to develop their staycation potential.