The purpose of this study is to analyse the relationship between the COVID-19 impacts on tourism and the political approaches adopted to overcome the crisis in this sector. There has been a deep reflection on a new tourism paradigm, guided by an increasing commitment to sustainability and innovation, which was triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak. This perspective reinforces the role of decentralisation and autonomy of policies at the regional level. A network governance model emerges as a strategy to overcome this crisis. A bibliometric analysis (Rafael & Pires, 2021) was carried out using the SCOPUS and Web of Science (WOS) databases, from January 2020 to April 2021. The search criteria followed the assumptions of the non-probabilistic snow-ball sampling technique (Vinuto, 2014). The results were processed in SPSS and VosViewer software. Four main dimensions were found that mediate the relationship between tourism and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, namely: (1) policies, enabling network governance and regional autonomy; (2) research, enhancing knowledge transfer and new teaching models; (3) economic collaborative approaches that support DMO´s activities; and (4) network innovation that fosters positive change. Understanding the impacts of COVID-19 in tourism politics and strategies offers important guidelines to both private and public decision-makers.