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The role of Great Barrier Reef tourism operators in addressing climate change through strategic communication and direct action

The role of Great Barrier Reef tourism operators in addressing climate change through strategic... The projected decline in reef health worldwide will have huge repercussions on millions of stakeholders depending upon coral reefs. Urgent action is needed to sustain coral reefs into the future. Tourism operators are recognised as stewards of Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR), a World Heritage Site, and are taking action on climate change, through their business practices and by engaging guests with interpretation and targeted messages. Yet little is known about how tourism operators along the GBR perceive climate change, or what actions they believe are most effective to address climate change impacts on the GBR. We describe a set of semi-structured interviews with 19 tourism operators in the Whitsundays and Cairns, the most popular tourism destinations along the GBR. Using a thematic analysis to code and report patterns within the data, we show tourism operators recognise the threat of climate change and strongly support increased action to address it. Most respondents are hesitant to engage their guests about climate change despite acknowledging an interest, expertise, and responsibility to do so. Understanding the barriers preventing tourism operators from addressing climate change is an important step towards helping them, and the tourists visiting the region, take action to protect the GBR. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Sustainable Tourism Taylor & Francis

The role of Great Barrier Reef tourism operators in addressing climate change through strategic communication and direct action

The role of Great Barrier Reef tourism operators in addressing climate change through strategic communication and direct action

Journal of Sustainable Tourism , Volume 26 (2): 19 – Feb 1, 2018

Abstract

The projected decline in reef health worldwide will have huge repercussions on millions of stakeholders depending upon coral reefs. Urgent action is needed to sustain coral reefs into the future. Tourism operators are recognised as stewards of Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR), a World Heritage Site, and are taking action on climate change, through their business practices and by engaging guests with interpretation and targeted messages. Yet little is known about how tourism operators along the GBR perceive climate change, or what actions they believe are most effective to address climate change impacts on the GBR. We describe a set of semi-structured interviews with 19 tourism operators in the Whitsundays and Cairns, the most popular tourism destinations along the GBR. Using a thematic analysis to code and report patterns within the data, we show tourism operators recognise the threat of climate change and strongly support increased action to address it. Most respondents are hesitant to engage their guests about climate change despite acknowledging an interest, expertise, and responsibility to do so. Understanding the barriers preventing tourism operators from addressing climate change is an important step towards helping them, and the tourists visiting the region, take action to protect the GBR.

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References (92)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
1747-7646
eISSN
0966-9582
DOI
10.1080/09669582.2017.1343339
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The projected decline in reef health worldwide will have huge repercussions on millions of stakeholders depending upon coral reefs. Urgent action is needed to sustain coral reefs into the future. Tourism operators are recognised as stewards of Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR), a World Heritage Site, and are taking action on climate change, through their business practices and by engaging guests with interpretation and targeted messages. Yet little is known about how tourism operators along the GBR perceive climate change, or what actions they believe are most effective to address climate change impacts on the GBR. We describe a set of semi-structured interviews with 19 tourism operators in the Whitsundays and Cairns, the most popular tourism destinations along the GBR. Using a thematic analysis to code and report patterns within the data, we show tourism operators recognise the threat of climate change and strongly support increased action to address it. Most respondents are hesitant to engage their guests about climate change despite acknowledging an interest, expertise, and responsibility to do so. Understanding the barriers preventing tourism operators from addressing climate change is an important step towards helping them, and the tourists visiting the region, take action to protect the GBR.

Journal

Journal of Sustainable TourismTaylor & Francis

Published: Feb 1, 2018

Keywords: Behaviour change; climate change; coral reef management; human dimension; interpretation; natural resource management; socio-ecological system

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