Page 104 - Respond 2014 | RTCC Publications
P. 104


troubLe in


cLimate change

and tourism

The pressure to build resorts, golf courses, marinas, vacation homes and other tourism infrastructure on
coastlines is relentless. Who doesn’t want a fresh sea breeze and an ocean view? Yet climate change is
already bringing drought, fooding, sea level rise, and greater storm intensity to the world’s shores

This puts governments in a diffcult situation: on the one hand, they must create jobs Necessity is the Mother of Invention
for their citizens, and sun-and-sand vacations are among the strongest segments of the Nonetheless, forward-thinking destinations are preserving
tourism industry. On the other hand, governments are obliged to keep citizens safe from the natural features (mangroves, dunes, reefs, coastal
the threats they know are looming, and the private sector must protect its own assets. forests) that protect tourism infrastructure and vulnerable
residents from the effects of climate change. Innovative
Consistent Failure businesses are helping to protect those same features,
The Center for Responsible Travel has found, however, that governments consistently and are even adding value for guests in the process.
fail to apply sound climate change adaptation policy to new tourism development,
and there is very little incentive for resort developers to consider climate change when The steps taken by the Maldives, and the Maldives’
drawing their plans. luxury Soneva Fushi Resort, for example, originated
from a need to address climate change, but have
With increasing frequency, developers include vacation homes with resort, spa, golf yielded numerous other benefts. New protected areas
course and marina construction. Because the vacation homes are serviced by an provide both a buffer for infrastructure and a playground
on-site branded hotel, they sell quickly. The sale of the vacation homes (often as for visitors. Reduced hotel waste simultaneously
timeshares) fnances the construction of the hotel and other components. protects coral reefs and the operators’ bottom line.
Local residents employed by the progressive resort
This integrated resort model shortens the timeframe for the same return on absorb environmental messaging at work, and apply
investment. Whereas in the past, hoteliers used to invest for the long-term (and would conservation practices at home, too.
therefore be very much concerned with the health of the destination and the effects of
climate change), most of today’s coastal tourism developers are in and out within fve By adopting effective public policy and implementing
years. The seas are rising too slowly to be of any import to a short-term investor. good practices in resort development and operation,
destinations and businesses can adapt to a changing
climate without sacrifcing the visitor experience.
About the contributors:
The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), a mission-
driven institute with offces at Stanford University and in
Washington, DC, has developed pioneering expertise on
large-scale coastal tourism. We’ve culled best practices
in sustainability from around the world, and work with
government and private sector clients to ensure that
tourism development meets the realities of climate
change and other environmental and social challenges.

Center for Responsible Travel

   99   100   101   102   103   104   105   106   107   108