Assessment 1: Essay
This assessment is for these students only: Gold Coast; Melbourne - Hotel School; Online; Sydney - Hotel School. Assessment Group/ individual Learning outcomes Grading indicator Min Score Weight Length/ duration Due Professional accreditation
In what ways does climate change affect either the accommodation or the attractions sector of the tourism industry? In your essay you need to describe and analyse the various ways that climate change is currently affecting, and could possibly affect, the sector you have selected (either accommodation or attractions).
You should include specific examples of current impacts on businesses in the sector you have selected.
Please use at least 6 academic journals and total 10 references in havarad style of referencing. Every in text citation needs real page number for example (The glossary at the end of your text provides useful definitions of key concepts introduced in this unit (see Sloan et al 2016, pp. 506 to 517). So if you are not sure of what a term means use this as a simple reference point.
The following definitions underpin this unit:
Sustainability is effectively the goal of sustainable development. It is the ideal end state to which we must aspire ((see Sloan et al 2016,p. 515).
Sustainable development – development carried out in such a way as to meet the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their needs ((see Sloan et al 2016,p. 516).
Sustainable tourism – tourism that can be sustained over the long term because it results in net benefit for the social, economic, natural and cultural environments of the area in which it takes place ((see Sloan et al 2016, pp. 516).
Sustainable Hospitality – hospitality operations managing resources considering the economic, social and environmental costs and benefits in order to meet the need of present generations while protecting and enhancing opportunities for future generations ((see Sloan et al 2016,p. 26).
Environmental Management for Hotels and Attractions
Impact of Climate Change on the Attractions Sector of the Tourism Industry
In the tourism and hospitality industry, sustainability in terms of social, economic and environmental are crucial for business success. According to Legrand, Chen and Sloan (2013, p. 163), the management of resources regarding these three aspects to determine the overall costs and benefits for catering the needs of present customers and preserving it for future customers is referred to as sustainable hospitality which forms the basis of sustainable tourism. However, due to recent concerns regarding climate change, the attractions sector of the tourism industry has been greatly affected with scope more future impact as well. It is necessary to identify these core issues caused due to anthropogenic climate change in the chosen sector and strive towards sustainable development in this sector.
As suggested by Kaján and Saarinen (2013,p. 186), climate change is referred to the radiative forcing on earth’s atmosphere that results in input of more solar energy than the earth can radiate back into space. This is mostly caused due to increasing concentration of greenhouses gases like CO2 and methane which acts as an insulator keeping the solar energy trapped in the earth's atmosphere and increases the average temperature of the planet. The current anthropogenic climate change is caused by humans due to the intense level of gas emissions since the industrial revolution in the 1700s. The accumulation of these gases over the last two centuries have caused the critical climate change situation which has affected the tourism and hospitality industry, especially its attractions sector (Pang, McKercher and Prideaux, 2013, p. 12). The major impacts of climate change on the planet leads to unfavourable environmental conditions which indirectly affects the lives of the flora and fauna, that forms the basis of the attractions sector in the tourism industry.
In the context of the Australian travel and tourism industry, the attractions sector is widely popular among international tourists and contributes significantly to the nation’s GDP as well. As for the evidence of climate change in Australia, the summers have become hotter and longer due to the increasing temperature which is not ideal for tourists. Also, the maximum summer temperature increasing each year have made the Australian climate hot and humid which makes tourists and visitors uncomfortable. Due to the extensive forest regions in the country, bushfires are quite common. However, as mentioned in Ruhanen and Shakeela, (2013, p. 48) due to climate change, the fire season in some regions has been extended as well. In addition to this, the extreme weather patterns have increased the frequency of disaster events like flooding, drought, cyclone and other major storms. Even the rainfall pattern has also changed a lot in the country in recent years due to this human-induced climate change. Furthermore, as pointed out by Schliephack and Dickinson, (2017, p. 187) the increasing temperature resulted in melting ice caps led to the rise of sea level in northern Australia.
Some of the major attractions that the Australian tourism industry capitalizes on includes the flora and fauna as well as its natural scenic beauty in various tourist destinations. Koala bears are one such tourist attraction along with the tropical island destinations around the country. In addition to this, the Great Barrier Reef, with the largest accumulation of corals are also key tourist attractions where they can enjoy scuba diving. The Koala tourism in Australia was worth nearly $1.3 billion as revealed by a research study made in 1997 and the Koala population was somewhere between 100,000-300,000 (Eco-Business, 2020) Due to the increased level of CO2 in the atmosphere from climate change, the eucalyptus trees were affected and reduced the nutritional values in their leaves. Being the primary diet of Koalas, this affected the Koala population to some extent. Also, the Koala bears rely on leaves of various plants for their moisture content and the intense drought due to extreme weather patterns have impacted the source of water of the Koalas as most leaves dry out during such seasons (The Guardian, 2020). Even the increasing temperature during the summer months can cause heat stress which the Koalas are not accustomed to endure. The extended bushfires seasons are also the major contributor of the deaths of wildlife along with the Koalas. The other additional impacts of climate change include the spread of disease, bushland clearing for acquiring fertile land for crops and dog attacks due to scarcity of food which also affected the Koala population in Australia. This has greatly impacted the Koala tourism, one of the major attractions in the country.
Another great area of the attraction sector is the Great Barrier Reef which has also been affected by climate change. According to Morton (2020), the increased CO2 level in the atmosphere has resulted in an increase in acidity of the seawater and changed its Ph level. This led to the coral bleaching in the barrier reef as the corals are not accustomed to such levels of acidity in water. This in turn not only affected this major tourist attraction but also impacted the scuba diving tourism as well tourists were no longer interested in the dead and bleached corals below the water which once was vivid and colourful. Apart from this, the rising sea-levels have also destroyed or damaged the island destinations in the country which was previously caved by the tourists visiting the country for their scenic beauty. Hendrikx et al. (2013, p. 972) pointed out that the skiing seasons in Alpine regions were also affected as the longer summers reduced the snow accumulation required for skiing, thus destroying other associated tourist attractions in the region. In addition to this, hot and humid weather in tropical destinations were unbearable by most tourists and they tend to avoid them as well. Furthermore, the greater frequency of natural disasters and infestation of mosquito-borne diseases have also prevented tourists from visiting some of the major destinations in the attraction sector of Australian tourism which had an economical, social and environmental impact in the hospitality industry.
It is quite evident from the direct and indirect impacts of human-induced climate change that how the attractions sector of the tourism industry might be affected. The condition is direr in Australia due to the abundance of environmental attractions in the country. Moreover, the wildlife and plants that rely on environmental conditions are also affected and reduced the pool of tourists in those destinations.