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Perceptions of climate change impacts, adaptation and limits to adaption in the Australian Alps: the ski-tourism industry and key stakeholders

  • Year: 2013
  • Author: Morrison, Clare; Pickering, Catherine M
  • Journal Name: Journal of Sustainable Tourism
  • Journal Number: 21.2
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
  • Published Location: United Kingdom
  • ISBN: 09669582
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: The Australian Alps

This paper explores perceptions of ski-tourism representatives and other regional stakeholders about climate change impacts, limits to tourism development and adaptation strategies in the Australian Alps. This area faces rising temperatures, declining rain and snow falls, and shorter skiing seasons. Open-ended interviews examined the perceptions, plans and attitudes of the ski industry and those of conservation managers, local government officials and Australian researchers into tourism and/or climate change effects in the Australian Alps. All interviewees accepted climate change was a reality; several, however, questioned the worst-case scenarios. The major tourism-related adaptation strategies were snowmaking and diversifying to year-round tourism; the success of these strategies will vary according to individual resorts' snowmaking capacity and potential summer tourism revenue. Currently non-snow-based tourism revenue is worth only approximately 30% of winter revenue. Social resistance to increased water and electricity use for snowmaking emerged as an important issue. Competition for water, including the needs of ecosystems, agriculture and fire protection in this summer-fire-prone region, and fire management issues, is a key concern. Current conflicts between the ski industry and other stakeholders over climate change adaptation call for a collaborative adaptation and change policy within the Australian Alps.

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