Impact of COVID-19 on mental health and career anxiety of hospitality and tourism students in the UK
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AbstractPurpose The current study investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health and career perspectives of the future workforce of the tourism and hospitality industry in the UK. The paper is based on theories of emotion and focuses on the interplay role of three factors of fear of COVID-19, depression, and future career anxiety. Methodology The current research uses a mixed-method approach in two studies to answer the research questions. First, an online questionnaire was distributed among 197 current tourism and hospitality students in the UK. In the second phase through a qualitative approach and 17 semi-structured interviews, a more in-depth approach was taken to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the future career perspectives of the respondents. Findings Findings reveal a high level of mental health disorders among respondents. The majority of respondents suffer from some sort of mental health conditions/disorders that affect their moods, thinking, and behaviors. The results further show that the fear of COVID-19 causes depression which results in career anxiety. Practical Implications Our findings suggest that the future tourism workforce in the UK is likely to suffer from some sort of mental health disorder that can influence their performances in the workplace. Companies are advised to make adjustments that help to protect the well-being and psychological health of their staff. Originality/value Previous studies used a snapshot in time only with a focus on the immediate and short-term effects of the pandemic. In the current study, by taking a long-term impact approach, we attempted to understand the psychological impact of the COVID-19 on the future workforce of the tourism industry in the UK and offered practical implications for stakeholders.
CitationRahimi, R., Akgunduz, Y. and Bilgihan, A. (in press) Impact of COVID-19 on mental health and career anxiety of hospitality and tourism students in the UK. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights.
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of a paper due to be published by Emerald in Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights (in press). The accepted manuscript of the publication may differ from the final published version
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