Special Issue "Transport Infrastructures and Inbound Tourist Mobility"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Tourism, Culture, and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Juan Carlos Martin Hernandez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Tourism and Economic Sustainable Development, Department of Applied Economic Analysis, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Interests: transport economics; accessibility; service quality; tourism and transport; demand analysis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a collapse in airports and tourism activities, and today, despite the good news of the existing vaccines, the situation seems as though it will worsen in the coming months. There is no real prospect of improvement, and the passenger traffic necessary to alleviate the economic downturn at airports and in the tourism industry is not foreseeable on the horizon. New COVID-19 variants are forcing national governments to once again enforce lockdown measures and new travel restrictions. As a result, it is likely that the more optimistic forecasts of aviation recovery will fail to materialize. Further travel restrictions, the prohibition of nonessential travel and travel bans with some countries are making the recovery in passenger traffic implausible.

Accordingly, airports and the tourism industry are facing an unprecedented contraction that will need to be addressed through smart, flexible and effective policies that go beyond state aid. The main issue here is re-boosting passenger numbers taking into account the sanitary recommendations that make passengers trust that air transport is safe. Such policy measures have been considered by the European Travel Commission (ETC) as an indispensable way of restoring air connectivity in Europe. The local economies in some regions, especially those whose tourism dependence is high, depend on restoring air traffic. Eduardo Santander, the Executive Director of ETC, said: “What we are asking for is only the support which is proportionate to the severity of the crisis and the outlook we now face. This is about making sure the aviation infrastructure does not suffer irreversible damage, which would in turn create an instant ripple effect through the tourism ecosystem and the local communities dependent upon them. We need urgent action – every day counts”.

ETC applauded the new guidelines for COVID-19 testing and the quarantine of air travelers set out by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) (02 December 2020), which provide a clear pathway for EU governments to make informed decisions on travel measures during the COVID-19 pandemic with. Based on the latest scientific evidence and information, the guidelines indicated that the prevalence of COVID-19 among travelers was estimated to be lower than is the case for the general population. Most notably, quarantine or systematic testing for SARS-CoV-2 for air travelers was not recommended in the current epidemiological situation. Thus, it is not clear why the guidelines have not been followed by the EU governments.

Given the extraordinary period airports and the tourist industry are facing, it is paramount that policymakers, researchers and social scientists analyze how air traffic can be recovered, maintaining passengers’ safety as a priority. There are a number of topics within the current context that could be considered as the control of the pandemic continues to substantially affect air transport. Thus, the contributors to this volume will address the following research questions and topics:

  1. How has air connectivity been affected by COVID-19?
  2. What are the main anti-COVID-19 measures taken by distinct countries that affect air transport? Are there any lessons that can be extracted?
  3. What are the main changes that we can expect for post-COVID-19 air transport?
  4. Is COVID-19 affecting preferences for travel?
  5. How is COVID-19 affecting air transport vulnerability and resilience?
  6. A level playing field in state aid for airports, airlines and hotels: are there worldwide lessons to be learned?
  7. Tracing apps vs. rapid tests to increase air connectivity: are there lessons to be learned?
  8. Has COVID-19 boosted digital transformation and automation in airports and airlines?
  9. Has COVID-19 changed biosecurity and sanitization processes in airports and airlines?
  10. Air transport accessibility during the pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19 periods and the effects on the post-COVID-19 era.
  11. Touchless and socially distanced travel: myth or reality in air transport?
  12.  The role of COVID-19 in flying less and flying short distances.
  13. Are tourists ready to travel after herd group immunity?
  14. Regarding air travel, do citizens prefer harmonized policies or individual state policies?
  15. Redefining tourism: escapism vs. fear about getting ill at the destination.
Prof. Dr. Juan Carlos Martin Hernandez
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • COVID-19
  • aviation
  • air transport
  • tourism
  • airlines
  • travel bans
  • quarantines
  • recovery plans

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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