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Journal Article

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Hong Kong hospitality and tourism industry has been battered by the triple whammy of social unrest, Sino-US trade war and COVID-19 pandemic in recent years. To understand how vulnerable tourism students may be in terms of career shock when facing the three major challenges, 407 tourism students in Hong Kong were surveyed. Structural equation modelling found a positive correlation between affect (an intrinsic, motivating factor) and extraneous events (an extrinsic, demotivating factor), indicating that motivation and demotivating factors may co-exist. Affect was more positively correlated with three career choice outcomes (intent to join the industry, desire for a lifelong career, and resilience in face of unfavourable circumstances) than was Extraneous. In face of career shock arising from extraneous events, tourism students still tend to have a strong intent to join the workforce, take it as a lifelong career, and remain resilient despite the hardship. However, the career shock was a greater concern for those in hotel-related disciplines and for students aged over 20 than younger ones. The findings offer an empirical basis to guide policy makers, academia and the industry in strategy formulation to ensure sustainable quality and manpower supply in the post-crisis future.

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