Tourism Causing Behavioral Changes of Whale Sharks in Western Australia

by Isabelle Ng

Western Australia’s Ningaloo Marine Park (NMP) is one of the few locations in the world where whale sharks are known to aggregate, which makes it a popular destination for nature-seeking tourists. Tourism levels are high between March and July, when whale sharks aggregate in high nutrient waters. While tourism may benefit from these aggregations, the whale shark is threatened and listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN, most likely a result of human impacts such as tourism. The whale shark tourism industry is managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife under a species and management program, which is supposed to exercise “sustainable best practices” through a code of conduct. Continue reading

Tourist Behavior Affected by Climate Change

by Bryn Edwards

A study from the 2017 Journal of Sustainable Tourism proposed a psychological explanation for tourist behavior, in particular the effect climate change has on vacation locations. This is a promising development in terms of changing future behavior to further minimize damage that tourism has on native environments and ecosystems. Tourist behavior associated with travel to threatened locations can be attributed to reactance theory, which tells us that people inherently put worth on their freedom, and do not want that freedom taken away. Threatened destinations are alluring because people are more motivated to visit a place if they will not have such freedom in the future. Continue reading

How are Travel Plans in Germany Affected by Climate Change?

by Chris Choi

Claudia Schwirplies and Andreas Ziegler (2016) examine the effects of climate change on German tourism and the demand on the tourism market. For example, climate change can lead to higher temperatures and may threaten the attractiveness of certain holiday attractions. To make holiday activities more diverse, investors must shift where they put their money. However, this will result in multiple costs to the investment sector. Overall, Schwirplies and Ziegler seek to improve the comprehension of the multiple effects and defects of adaptation to climate change and tourism by conducting a study examining the German population’s travel habits. Continue reading

The Effects of Climate Change on California Tourism

by Owen Dubeck

The chapter “Tourism and Recreation,” from Climate Change in California, explains the economic impact climate change will have on California tourism. The $96 Billion industry is divided into three parts, beaches, winter recreation, and outdoor recreation. While all three sectors will see economic losses from climate change, the article also discusses the less talked-about advantages. With rapidly melting glaciers causing rising sea levels, California’s coastlines are susceptible to the largest economic consequences. Scientists predict that rising water levels will reduce beach widths in Southern California by 62 feet. Smaller beaches mean lower attendance, which will hurt local economies. Temporary efforts to cover up the consequences of climate change include moving in more sand via dump trucks. Rising sea levels will cause Huntington Beach to invest $16 million in beach nourishment. However, this sea level rise would not affect Laguna Beach adversely. Instead, they would actually save money. Continue reading

The Future of the Australian Ski Industry


by Harrison Chotzen

In 2010 Catherine Pickering and Ralf Buckley, then associate professor and director of the ICER (International Centre for Ecotourism Research) coauthored an article investigating snow guns (also known as “snow-machines”) and their role in the undermined future of the Australian ski industry. While the Australian Alps provide an optimal environment for the six ski resorts that currently exist, Pickering and Buckley explain that each establishment will need to drastically increase snow-making activity in order to sustain skiable terrain as the level of natural snowfall decreases every year. However, after spending 9 years collecting data on natural snow cover, skier numbers, the costs and yields of snow-making in the region, the number of snow guns resorts employ, and the total costs of the guns (referring to costs of the guns themselves as well as the “associated infrastructure”) while assuming a predicted 2020 climate change-induced scenario (in which it is predicted that the mean annual temperature will increase by approximately 1.0°C and precipitation will decrease by up to 8.3%) the authors concluded that snow-based tourism in Australia will almost certainly be forced to find an alternate solution to the low natural snow levels of the years ahead Continue reading

Climate Change Tourism: A Mere Luxury for the Rich?

by JP Kiefer

The small archipelago nation of Tuvalu is home to 10,000 people likely to soon become climate refugees when their islands fall below sea level due to climate change. Tuvalu is attempting to take on an image of both victim and hero of climate change by becoming an extremely green chain of islands run by largely renewable sources of energy. It is able to take on this image with help from foreign aid and charities. Its people are also portrayed as model citizens without the issues of overconsumption and essentialized consumerism, though they fail in this in some ways. Tuvalu’s tourist board attributes these failures to an invading and corruptive imperial force. Overconsumption and essentialized consumerism are tied hand in hand with climate change, so by rejecting these values Tuvalu hopes to show that man’s carbon footprint truly can be reduced. Continue reading