Vulnerability of Caribbean coastal tourism to scenarios of climate change related sea level rise
KeywordsSEA LEVEL RISE
GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM
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AbstractSea level rise (SLR) is considered a growing, certain and prominent consequence of anthropogenic climate change. Despite the high value of tourism properties and economic activity in the coastal zone, the tourism sector is largely absent from the SLR literature. This study created a geo-referenced database of 906 major coastal resort properties in 19 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to assess their potential risk to a scenario of one-metre SLR. An estimated 266 (29%) resort properties would be partially or fully inundated by one-metre SLR; between 440 (49%) and 546 (60%) of resort properties would be at risk of beach erosion damage associated with the same SLR scenario. In addition, many resorts would experience significant losses of beach area prior to resort property loss. The vulnerability and the adaptive capacity of individual coastal tourism properties and destination communities is argued to differ substantially. Losses of over 50% of coastal properties are likely in five countries, three of which are highly dependent on tourism. These differentials would transform the competitive position and sustainability of coastal tourism destinations in the region, with important implications for property values, potential tourism revenues, insurance costs, destination marketing, as well as local and national economies.
Scott, D., Simpson, M.C., & Ryan Sim, R. (2012). The vulnerability of Caribbean coastal tourism to scenarios of climate change related sea level rise. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 20(6), 883-898.doi:10.1080/09669582.2012.699063