FRDC-DCCEE: beach and surf tourism and recreation in Australia: vulnerability and adaptation
One of the most likely and immediate projected climate change impacts is an increase in sea levels, which has the potential to critically impact the state and function of coastal systems (CSIRO 2009; DCC 2009, 2010). While there are current investigations and reports on a number of aspects of marine tourism (e.g. diving, fishing and whale watching), there is no national study on the tourism value of beaches, arguably the most valuable and threatened coastal tourism asset. Work by the applicants has highlighted the social and economic importance of beaches for tourism and recreation in Australian coastal cities (Raybould and Lazarow 2009; Lazarow et al. 2008; Lazarow 2009), which is in turn reliant upon the character and natural state of assets. This project will provide a national classification of beach and surf assets in key 'seachange' locations chosen for their vulnerability to projected climate changes, also estimating the existing economic importance of critically vulnerable assets. Understanding the economic streams emanating from tourism and recreation linked to these assets, and how changes in resource quality and accessibility will impact on these streams at various time horizons and under different climate change projections will allow communities, industry and decision-makers to make better-informed decisions. It will also identify key social trigger points which determine; tourism and recreation behaviour, particularly selection of destinations; the economic consequences which flow from changes in behaviour; and the manner in which key stakeholder and user groups will respond to projected climate change scenarios.
1. LGA/site scale identification and assessment of the vulnerability to climate change of assets that are key drivers of marine and coastal tourism and recreation.
2. Valuation of existing income streams due to beach-related tourism and recreation in case study locations
3. Application of valuation tool (developed in previous stage) in identified seachange localities to test transferability of results
4. Identify social and behavioural responses to climate change impacts on vulnerable tourism and recreation assets.
5. Report on the net vulnerability of regional locations to climate change