Tourism’s dependence on climate and the environment means that projected climate change impacts could have devastating effects on the industry. Pacific tourism is particularly vulnerable 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, changing consumer demands, and the vulnerability of infrastructure (especially in coastal areas).
The Tourism and Climate Change Research Group develops innovative theoretical frameworks which enables these sectors to assess their vulnerability and resilience to risks associated with climate change. Emerging from global sustainability sciences, these frameworks will assist development of alternative mitigation, adaptation and technology solutions. Our objectives are to:
What we do
Vulnerability/resilience frameworks and models: climate change adaptation strategies and policies for the tourism sector. The increasing risk from climate change demands a fundamental shift in thinking from good practice, crisis management and adaptation. Understanding interactions between climate change risks and the planning, management and marketing of tourism requires the development of a tourism-specific model of ‘coupled human-environment’ system frameworks of vulnerability and resilience. We will use such approaches to develop an appropriate climate change adaptation framework.
Tourism destinations in developing economies on a climate positive roadmap
Destinations in the least developed countries are particularly vulnerable to potential climate change impacts due to the lack of resources and technology to deal with such a complex global issue. CTSR, working with United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), has developed the Tourism Earth Lung, a destination-based tourism climate strategy. Initial research was undertaken in Sri Lanka and Egypt and destinations in other parts of Asia, Africa, and Central and South America have expressed interest in joining the global Tourism Earth Lung network. Further research will include empirical work in specific developing country destinations, as well as policy science studies to develop appropriate policy settings to foster sustainable, climate neutral tourism growth.
Current PHD Projects
Whilst the tourism and climate change research group draws on expertise across the university depending on the projects being undertaken, key researchers involved in this program are:
Professor Terry de Lacy recently took up the position as professor in sustainable tourism in CTSR, having stood down after 10 years as CEO and Director of the Sustainable Tourism Co-operative Research Centre . Previously the Dean of the Agriculture and Natural Resources faculty at the University of Queensland, Dr. de Lacy has extensive experience in the Asia-Pacific, in particular in China and the Pacific Islands. He was appointed by the Queensland Government to the Queensland China Council, and by the Australian Government to the Joint Indian-Australian Sustainable Tourism Working Party. Dr. de Lacy was a co-founder of the Oceania Sustainable Tourism Alliance .
Dr Min Jiang, a Research Fellow in CTSR, recently completed her PhD in environmental law at Macquarie University. She specialises in environmental policy and has published on Chinese law, water law and policy, water allocation mechanisms, and water rights trading. She is currently working on tourism adaptation to climate change and is co-ordinating the AusAID Australian Development Research Award Pacific Tourism Climate Adaptation Project (PT-CAP) .
Ms Emma Calgaro, a Research Fellow in CTSR, is finalising her PhD (Macquarie University) on assessing tourism destination’s vulnerability to risk and natural disasters. She has published a number of reports on the Thailand tourism sector’s response to the 2004 Tsunami. She is leading the Centre’s work on developing vulnerability resilience frameworks for the tourism sector’s adaptation to climate change.
Dr Emma Wong is a lecturer in the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Marketing . Her key research interests are tourism policy and politics, intergovernmental collaboration, and climate change adaptation for tourism destinations. Apart from the PT-CAP project, she is leading a study that examines the potential contribution of public-private partnerships (PPP) in climate change adaptation for Samoa as a destination.
Last reviewed: 27/07/2009