Post-crisis recovery management of tourism: Lesson Learnt from the Easter Sunday attack in Sri Lanka
International tourism has evolved into one of the largest global economic sectors, contributing significantly to many national and local economies. However, the crises have caused much loss and damage over the last few decades, burdening the tourism industry. On April 21, 2019, the day of Easter Sunday, Sri Lanka experienced a series of unexpected attacks. It caused many problems and challenges to the tourism industry. This study attempts to understand respondents who are involved in the tourism industry's lived experiences of the Sunday easter attack and their involvement in recovery. The qualitative research method, particularly the phenomenological approach, was adopted to collect and analyse data through the lens of the stakeholder theory. Senior managers representing the different tourism industry sectors were purposively approached and interviewed. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings revealed that the easter Sunday attack negatively influenced the number of tourist arrivals and experiences. However, a well-designed crisis management plan under the control of the official authority can minimise the risk and reduce the negative impact of the incident. Therefore, this study presents an innovative integrated model that could be used as a crisis management plan to restore the tourism industry.
Keywords: Disaster, Easter Sunday attack, Recovery process, Tourism, Phenomenology, Stakeholder theory