Exploratory Environmental Science Research

Volume 1 - Issue 1 - 2020

Original Research Article

The Nexus Of Climate Change Impacts On Urban Tourism Industry: A Case Study On Managing Drought

Felix Kwabena Donkor*, Kevin Mearns

College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of South Africa (UNISA),
UNISA Science Campus. Corner of Christiaan de Wet Road & Pioneer Avenue,
Florida, 1709, (SOUTH AFRICA)

PAGE NO: 78-86

ABSTRACT - DOI : https://dx.doi.org/10.47204/EESR.1.1.2020.078-086

Tourism is a key contributor to the global economy and sustains several households and livelihoods. However, the sector is highly susceptible to climate change and also contributes to it. However the most recent Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report projects an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme events related to climate change. Furthermore, both highlight the negative impact of climate sensitive industries such as tourism. In addition, the continued climate-driven degradation and disruption to cultural and natural heritage will negatively affect the tourism sector, reduce the attractiveness of destinations and lessen economic opportunities for local communities; as natural and cultural resources are the foundation for the tourism sector’s competitiveness. The scenario is exacerbated for urban tourism which is a special niche in the tourism sector. South Africa being a semi-arid area is drought prone as evidenced by the 100 year record drought which introduced severe water rationing for the hospitality industry and related tourism infrastructure. This study employed literature on the current state of knowledge and measures at addressing the impact of climate change on a climate sensitive sector crucial to several livelihoods such as urban tourism with a focus on South Africa. It contributes to the debate addressing the insufficiency of current global responses to addressing environmental challenges and the need for ‘Transformative changes’ to restore, protect nature and enhance sustainable development. Tourism hotspots need to introduce some nudges that will encourage tourists, local residents and industry players be more proactive in safeguarding the environment and adopting appropriate lifestyle changes.