The Impact of Climate Change on Australian Tourism Destinations.
By CRC for Sustainable Tourism
Tuesday, 1st December 2009
Developing adaptation and response strategies -

Climate change is forecast to have a variety of economic and non-economic impacts throughout Australia.

The degree to which these impacts affect regional tourism depends in part on how well the Australian tourism industry and natural ecosystems can adapt.

In light of the anticipated changes in climate over the next 10, 40 and 60 years, this project aims to increase our understanding of climate change impacts (economic and non-economic) in five regional tourism destinations.

The goal is to build a framework to inform and prioritise adaptation strategies which can be undertaken by destinations and by tourism businesses.

Specifically, the climate change vulnerability of each destination will be assessed, with a focus on the potential impacts on tourism infrastructure, activities and operational costs.

The six tourism destinations evaluated in this project are:

This report provides a summary of the key research, findings and recommendations which are presented in the scoping study - The Impacts of Climate Change on Australian Tourism Destinations – Developing Adaptation and Response Strategies – which has been undertaken by Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC). This research received additional funding support from the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.

The research project has examined the potential impacts of climate change in five Australian tourism destinations over the next 10, 40 and 60 years and scoped likely adaptation and mitigation strategies that will need to be implemented to address a changing destination landscape.

Case study areas were nominated by STCRC following consultation with key stakeholders. The five tourism destinations included in the project were selected on the basis of their varying degrees of vulnerability. They are Tropical North Queensland (TNQ), Kakadu, Barossa Valley, the Victorian Alps and the Blue Mountains.

To gauge the economic and non-economic impacts of climate change and to explore adaptive approaches for these destination communities, research teams considered regional CSIRO climate change data and examined existing knowledge on anticipated bio-physical and socioeconomic changes. Stakeholder interviews and social learning workshops were also conducted to identify priority actions.
This scoping study has also sought to identify a process through which additional destinations might be able to proceed with their own interest in identifying and developing adaptive approaches to climate change.

To this end, the methodology adopted in this project was evaluated with a view to examine its general applicability beyond the current set of destinations.

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