Understanding climate coping as a basis for strategic climate change adaptation - The case of Queenstown-Lake Wanaka, New Zealand
Weather conditions that influence natural resource-based tourist destinations are likely to be affected by climate change, but our understanding of how businesses and destinations manage for present and future conditions is limited. In this study we report on the relationships between weather and tourism activities in the Queenstown-Lake Wanaka region, South Island, New Zealand. Key stakeholder interviews and a workshop form the empirical basis of this paper. Coping range application ideas derived from ecological management literature are used to develop a framework to understand and inform thinking and strategies around how tourism businesses and destinations are currently responding to the weather and perhaps could in future respond to climate change. Results show that within a destination individual businesses have widely varying relationships with the weather, with each type of activity operating within its own coping range to particular environmental gradients, for example temperature. Coping, which can be observed outside the 'ideal' range of a particular environmental gradient, requires business adjustments so as to cope with increasingly marginal conditions, up to a Critical Stop Point - the ultimate threshold. The data suggest that increased need for adjustments impacts on business viability, and more planned adaptation measures would be necessary to increase viability under increasingly detrimental climatic conditions. Discussion at a destination level workshop indicates that at and beyond thresholds, keystone industry and destination level strategic adaptation planning is required to ensure the viability of the destination as a whole.
Global Environmental Change