Linking climate change, tourist destination adaptation and tourist atttitudes : a case study of the Victorian Surf Coast region

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Jopp, Ryan (2012) Linking climate change, tourist destination adaptation and tourist atttitudes : a case study of the Victorian Surf Coast region. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


The global tourism industry is particularly vulnerable to climate change due to its strong link to climate and natural ecosystems. Impacts such as warmer temperatures, increasingly frequent and intense storms, and sea level rise present a range of implications for tourism destinations from altered seasonality and increased risk of fire, to loss of beaches and erosion of coastal areas. Both destination infrastructure and ecosystems will be impacted and the ability to adapt to these impacts will ultimately influence destination’s long-term sustainability. A review of tourism sector adaptation frameworks found that none of the existing models focused on regional tourism destinations. This was deemed important as adaptation is best applied at the local level. The role of the tourist was also largely neglected, which was of some surprise given that tourism is a consumer driven industry, and it is the tourist who has the greatest adaptive capacity in terms of choosing when and where they go on holiday and the activities they engage in whilst they are there. Finally, the existing models tended to take a risk science approach and therefore did not fully consider the opportunities made possible by climate change. This thesis proposes a regional tourism adaptation framework (RTAF) model. The aim of the model is to provide a holistic representation of the steps involved in assessing a destination’s vulnerability and resilience, and developing an appropriate adaptation action plan. The RTAF model was applied to Victoria’s Surf Coast region as a single case study and a number of climate change impacts and adaptation options were identified. The study incorporated three research phases: a model development stage, a Delphi study and a tourist survey.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1506 Tourism
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Tourism and Services Research (CTSR)
Keywords tourists, sustainable tourism, adaptive capability, environmental risks, destination choice, destinations, green market, Surf Coast region, Victoria
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