Misperceptions of climate change damage coastal tourism: Case study of Byron Bay, Australia

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Title Misperceptions of climate change damage coastal tourism: Case study of Byron Bay, Australia
Author Buckley, Ralf
Journal Name Tourism Review International
Editor Wesley S. Roehl
Year Published 2008
Place of publication United States
Publisher Cognizant Communication Corporation
Abstract Local politics at Byron Bay on Australia's east coast have led to misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the likely effects of climate change on sea-level and coastal erosion. A voting bloc of self proclaimed “green” members of the local government authority (LGA) has adopted policies and planning instruments that have affected tourism by: placing severe and irrational restrictions on development of residential and holiday accommodation; reducing the opportunities for holiday letting; increasing rates and costs for businesses which provide services to tourists; and creating community division and dissent which drives away higher yield family tourists. This is occurring even though the LGA acknowledges the town's dependence on tourism. The key issue is that the LGA has prevented beachfront landowners from protecting their own properties against erosion, which the LGA now claims, incorrectly, to be due to climate change but which is in fact caused by a groyne built to protect facilities owned or managed by the LGA itself. Addressing this erosion is completely straightforward from a technical perspective, but is prevented by political powerplays. Through this political mechanism, misperceptions of climate change have hence damaged the town's tourism industry and investment, which have moved to neighbouring local government areas.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.cognizantcommunication.com/
Copyright Statement Copyright 2007Cognizant Communication Corporation. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 12
Issue Number 1
Page from 71
Page to 88
ISSN 1544-2721
Date Accessioned 2008-11-19
Language en_AU
Faculty Faculty of Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology
Subject PRE2009-Environmental Sciences
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/21307
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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