Some background on projects currently active in key program areas:
Tourism & Climate Change
Adaptation and resilience at the forefront of tourism planning:
Australia’s tourism industry is at risk from the impacts of climate change, threatening annual receipts worth in excess of $80 billion. Tourism’s close connections to the environment and climate make it a highly climate-sensitive economic sector. International and national policy changes and ethical concerns about air travel will alter destination competitiveness. Tourism destinations must adapt to a rapidly evolving, new, low carbon economy.
Victoria’s Great Ocean Road (GOR) and the nature-based touring experience it offers includes coastal and forest components – two areas that are expected to be highly impacted by climatic changes. Climate change predictions by the CSIRO suggest that the greater Corangamite region will become hotter and drier, creating perfect conditions for more frequent and intense fire storms, as well as lower rainfalls, higher temperatures, rising sea levels and frequency and intensity of storms and storm surges. Direct impacts to human settlements as well as coastal and marine ecosystems are inevitable.
A shift in tourism industry thinking is needed to design and implement robust and proactive adaptation and resilient buildings strategies.
The main objective of this project is to design a conceptual and a practical toolkit which can be applied to the Great Ocean Road tourism destination and the sector that supports it.
Desired outcomes of this project include a draft adaptation strategy to climate change risks for GOR tourism; and a layered understanding and knowledge about destination vulnerability and resilience to climate change risk and shocks.
The Project Coordinator for Victoria University is Ms Emma Calgaro. Project partners include:
International Education Visitation – Tourism opportunities
Victoria University, Southern Cross University and Griffith University (co-ordinating institution) received $62,000 to undertake research into the travel patterns of international students enrolled within Australia in University, English language (ELICOS) and VET Programs. The research, funded by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC), aims to identify opportunities and constraints for international student travel. There are over 500,000 international students enrolled in Australia and this sector has been the fastest growing component of the inbound tourism industry. Tourism industry representatives are interested in gaining insights into how collaborations between the education and tourism sectors can be enhanced. The project involved the conduct of focus groups with students in several states across Australia and several thousand responses have already been received to a nationwide online survey of students. The VU component of the research is being conducted by Professor Brian King and Professor Michael Davidson of Griffith University is the Project Co-ordinator and is due for completion in December 2009.
Pacific Tourism - Climate Adaptation Project
An AusAID International Development Research Grant has been awarded for a three year Pacific Tourism – Climate Adaptation Project (PT - CAP). The project aims to develop climate change adaptation policies and strategies to assist the Pacific Island tourism sector protect and grow local livelihoods.
Tourism is the largest export sector for most Pacific Island countries and offers great opportunity for economic growth and sustainable development. With its close connections to the environment and climate itself, tourism is highly sensitive to climate change risks similar to agriculture, insurance, energy, and transportation. Pacific tourism is particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts due to the climate sensitivity of the natural environmental assets upon which the industry is based, the industry’s reliance on a long haul travel market threatened by global climate change policy and changing consumer demands and the vulnerability of coastal infrastructure. It will inevitably need to adapt to risks from future climate change.
The VU component of the research is being conducted by Prof. Terry DeLacy, Assoc/Prof. Dale Dominey-Howes, Prof. David Harrison, Dr. Min Jiang, Dr. Emma Wong, Dr. Emma Calgaro, Ms. Louise Munk Klint and Mr. Ryan Jopp. It will be led by Victoria University Centre for Tourism and Services Research (CTSR) in collaboration with the following:
For further information, visit the Pacific Tourism Climate Adaptation Project page.
Effective Learning and Information Channels for Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises
This project is funded by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre and is being conducted in conjunction with Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. An Industry Reference Group is providing advice and guidance on the project and includes tourism industry representatives from various states around Australia.
The small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is a diverse group. This project aims to help improve the understanding about the processes used by SMTEs to access information and undertake learning in order to make decisions within their business.
The research will identify the preferred learning channels of SMTEs and the information sources relied upon. The purpose is to inform governments and tourism industry agencies to help them to provide a more efficient information dissemination approach as well as the potential for greater engagement with SMTEs.
The project involves conducting interviews with managers of peak bodies serving the tourism industry as well as tourism industry experts.
Three focus groups with be held with tourism business operators to get the views from those who are actual business operators to see if they agree with the initial findings from the experts.
The project has been supported by the Regional Tourism Organisations located at:
Other research areas
Impact of Climate on Seasonal Demand for Australian Inbound Tourism
This project is funded by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre. Having identified that the climate is one of the significant determinant factors for seasonal tourism, demand for Australia in the past Australia tourism demand modelling studies have ignored the climate change and considered climate is constant or largely silent on climate change issues. Therefore there is a need to identify the direction and quantify the impact of climate change on seasonal visitor arrivals to Australia.
Research is required to identify whether the seasonal international tourist arrival patterns to Australia have changed due to climate change. This project measures the impact of climate on Australian inbound seasonal tourism demand by constructing a Tourism Climate Index (TCI) for Australia with six sub-indices.
This research will inform governments and tourism industry agencies to help them to develop climate sensitive tourism planning, forecasting and decision making. Further this method can be apply to other destinations that are sensitive to climate.
Last reviewed: 18/12/2009