Understanding a northern community's adaptation to climate change and tourism development
DisciplineEnvironmental Studies : Nature-Based Recreation & Tourism
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This thesis focuses on community perspectives of tourism development and climate change in the community of Nain, Newfoundland and Labrador. It employed a conceptual model of vulnerability developed by Ford, Smit and Wandel (2006) as a macro-framework to assess the community’s ability to adapt over time to both phenomena of tourism development and climate change. For the purpose of this research, tourism developments focused on Indigenous tourism, as this is the desired development direction the community tourism planners wish to pursue. To assess the resident opinions of this form of tourism Smith’s (1996) four “Hs” of Indigenous tourism development (habitat, history, heritage, and handicrafts) was used as a micro-framework within the macro-framework. Resident attitudes regarding tourism and climate change were gathered over the course of 29 one-on-one semi-structured interviews with a total of 35 participants, as well as field observations and field notes. Interviews were transcribed and coded using a two staged thematic coding procedure. Results indicated that the majority of residents have seen an increase in tourism development over time and are in favour of such development primarily for the economic benefits, with Indigenous tourism development being well-regarded. Furthermore, few connections were made by participants between tourism and climate change, although important tourism assets as perceived by participants may be affected by climate change-related impacts to their region.