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Mapping Tourism Stakeholders’ Weather and Climate Information-Seeking Behavior in Fiji

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  • 1 Griffith Climate Change Response Program, and Griffith Institute for Tourism, Griffith University, Southport, Queensland, Australia
  • | 2 Griffith Institute for Tourism, Griffith University, Southport, Queensland, Australia
  • | 3 Griffith Climate Change Response Program, Griffith University, Southport, Queensland, Australia
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Abstract

Tourism is inherently dependent on weather and climate, and its sustainability and resilience to adverse weather and climate impacts is greatly enhanced by providing tailored climate services to tourism sector stakeholders. Climate services need to integrate standard weather forecasts, with early warning systems, seasonal forecasts, and long-term projections of climatic changes in order to meet the information needs of the sector. While a growing number of studies address the potential climate change impacts on tourism, little is known about how the tourism sector accesses, uses, and analyses the available weather and climate information.

This research presents findings from an exploratory study on weather and climate information-seeking behavior of 15 private and public tourism sector stakeholders in the Republic of Fiji. The results show a variety of weather and climate information-seeking paths in use, which differ depending on levels of professional responsibility, weather and climate literacy, and information and digital competency. Those with high weather information literacy access a broader variety of sources. Hence, their interpretation does not focus only on their own location, but “weather” is seen as a broad spatial phenomenon that might or might not result in adverse effects in their location. Understanding diverse weather and climate information-seeking paths can aid in better targeting climate and adaptation services across different stakeholder groups. Especially in the context of small island developing states (SIDS), the integration of traditional, local, and scientific knowledge as information sources is likely to provide a more useful and context-specific basis for climate adaptation planning within the sector.

© 2017 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author e-mail: Johanna Nalau, j.nalau@griffith.edu.au

Abstract

Tourism is inherently dependent on weather and climate, and its sustainability and resilience to adverse weather and climate impacts is greatly enhanced by providing tailored climate services to tourism sector stakeholders. Climate services need to integrate standard weather forecasts, with early warning systems, seasonal forecasts, and long-term projections of climatic changes in order to meet the information needs of the sector. While a growing number of studies address the potential climate change impacts on tourism, little is known about how the tourism sector accesses, uses, and analyses the available weather and climate information.

This research presents findings from an exploratory study on weather and climate information-seeking behavior of 15 private and public tourism sector stakeholders in the Republic of Fiji. The results show a variety of weather and climate information-seeking paths in use, which differ depending on levels of professional responsibility, weather and climate literacy, and information and digital competency. Those with high weather information literacy access a broader variety of sources. Hence, their interpretation does not focus only on their own location, but “weather” is seen as a broad spatial phenomenon that might or might not result in adverse effects in their location. Understanding diverse weather and climate information-seeking paths can aid in better targeting climate and adaptation services across different stakeholder groups. Especially in the context of small island developing states (SIDS), the integration of traditional, local, and scientific knowledge as information sources is likely to provide a more useful and context-specific basis for climate adaptation planning within the sector.

© 2017 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author e-mail: Johanna Nalau, j.nalau@griffith.edu.au
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