The impact of climate variability on tourism businesses and tourism infrastructure providers in Glacier Country
This report summarises the findings from 24 interviews with tourist operators and infrastructure providers in Glacier Country on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The research was undertaken in September 2011. In line with the area represented by the Glacier Country Tourism Group (GCTG), Glacier Country stretches from Whataroa in the north, to Bruce Bay and Lake Paringa in the south: the majority of tourism activity occurs in and around the settlements of Franz Josef, Fox Glacier, Whataroa and Okarito. The interviews explored the ways in which tourism businesses and infrastructure providers in Glacier Country currently deal with, and/or plan for, climate variability (i.e., daily weather conditions), extreme weather events (such as severe storms or unusually heavy rainfall events) and predicted longer term climate changes (e.g., increased rainfall intensity, increased westerly wind, reduction in glaciation). This Glacier Country case study follows earlier research undertaken in the Southern Lakes Region and in Northland. A number of climate and weather related tourism issues identified in these earlier studies were also examined in respect of tourism in Glacier Country, including the use of weather information and emergency management. This case study also included an additional set of questions about other future concerns – particularly around the supply and cost of energy for tourism in the region – and challenges facing tourism in Glacier Country.... [Show full abstract]
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