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A national-level screening exercise to assess tourism’s vulnerability to climate change

Becken, Susanne
Butcher, G.
Edmonds, J.
Hendrikx, J.
Hughey, Kenneth F. D.
Reisinger, A.
Wilson, Judith
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::1506 Tourism , ANZSRC::0502 Environmental Science and Management
It is widely acknowledged that over the 21st century the global community will need to adapt to the effects of climate change. Current climate models predict that New Zealand will experience increasing temperatures, changing frequency, intensity and distribution of rainfall events, decreased snow cover and sea level rise. Such changes will impact on key regional tourism drivers such as destination attractiveness, product content, business profitability, infrastructure planning and investment. Changes will manifest locally and will uniquely affect individual tourist destinations, communities and businesses. An ability to respond is therefore vital. Thus, the overarching goals of this research are: • Identifying which parts of the tourism industry are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change; • Developing key indicators which allow tourism businesses to measure, assess and track their vulnerability to climate change; • Establishing what adaptation measures are most appropriate for minimising vulnerability to the effects of climate change; and • Providing the tools necessary to achieving effective management, not only in terms of reducing vulnerability to climate change but also in identifying opportunities for taking advantage of a changing climate. This background paper will outline progress to date in relating to understanding tourism’s vulnerability at a national level. Following this stage, detailed analysis on vulnerability, indicators and adaptation measures will be undertaken in three case studies.
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