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The influence of hurricane risk on tourist destination choice in the Caribbean

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  • Johanna Forster

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  • Peter Schuhmann

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  • Iain Lake

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  • Andrew Watkinson

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  • Jennifer Gill

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    Abstract

    Climate change could have major implications for the global tourism industry if changing environmental conditions alter the attractiveness of holiday destinations. Countries with economies dependent on tourism and with tourism industries reliant on vulnerable natural resources are likely to be particularly at risk. We investigate the implications that climate-induced variations in Atlantic hurricane activity may have for the tourism-dependent Caribbean island of Anguilla. Three hundred tourists completed standardised questionnaires and participated in a choice experiment to determine the influence hurricane risk has on their risk perceptions and decisions regarding holiday preferences. The hurricane season had been considered by 40 % of respondents when making their holiday choice, and the beaches, climate and tranquility of the island were more important than coral reef-based recreational activities in determining holiday destination choice. Choice models demonstrated that respondents were significantly less likely to choose holiday options where hurricane risk is perceived to increase, and significantly more likely to choose options that offered financial compensation for increased risk. However, these choices and decisions varied among demographic groups, with older visitors, Americans, and people who prioritize beach-based activities tending to be most concerned about hurricanes. These groups comprise a significant component of the island’s current clientele, suggesting that perceived increases in hurricane risk may have important implications for the tourism economy of Anguilla and similar destinations. Improved protection of key environmental features (e.g. beaches) may be necessary to enhance resilience to potential future climate impacts. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10584-012-0433-5
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Climatic Change.

    Volume (Year): 114 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 (October)
    Pages: 745-768

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:114:y:2012:i:3:p:745-768

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    Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10584

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    1. Andrea Bigano & Alessandra Goria & Jacqueline Hamilton & Richard S.J. Tol, 2005. "The Effect of Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events on Tourism," Working Papers 2005.30, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Carlsson, Fredrik & Frykblom, Peter & Liljenstolpe, Carolina, 2003. "Valuing wetland attributes: an application of choice experiments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 95-103, November.
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    4. Andrea Bigano & Jacqueline M. Hamilton & Richard S.J. Tol, 2004. "The Impact Of Climate On Holiday Destination Choice," Working Papers FNU-55, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Oct 2004.
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    7. Krinsky, Itzhak & Robb, A Leslie, 1986. "On Approximating the Statistical Properties of Elasticities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 715-19, November.
    8. Hanley, Nick & Mourato, Susana & Wright, Robert E, 2001. " Choice Modelling Approaches: A Superior Alternative for Environmental Valuation?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 435-62, July.
    9. Nick Hanley & Robert Wright & Vic Adamowicz, 1998. "Using Choice Experiments to Value the Environment," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 413-428, April.
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