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From hurricanes to pandemics: community-based transformation and destination resilience in Utuado, Puerto Rico

By Patrick J. Holladay, Pablo Méndez-Lázaro, and Katja Brundiers

Abstract: Community-based tourism that is both sustainable and resilient lends strength to the community-based tourism system. Local mobilization of resources, cohesiveness, coordination, opportunities for change, healthy social and natural capital, economic diversification, strong leadership, and management that embraces creativity all build resilience. An example from Utuado, Puerto Rico is presented that illustrates these concepts with conceptual parallel of Hurricane Maria’s devastating impact to that of COVID-19. Post-coronavirus tourism should support local communities that could be resilient, creative, adaptive and transformative while it protects and provides long-term benefits to local communities and people.

Keywords: COVID-19, Community, Resilience, Tourism.

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