Climate change perceptions and responses in Scotland's ski industry
Hopkins, Debbie; Maclean, Kate
The negative impacts of climate change for the ski industry have been well documented. However, research has largely focused on key ski markets in North America and Continental Europe. The study presented in this paper addresses climate change perceptions and responses in the more marginal ski destination of Scotland. Using a qualitative, interpretivist methodology, this paper contributes through a local-scale, single-site study of a ski area where technical adaptations are not utilised and which therefore relies on business responses to climate change. Findings suggest that while local weather is perceived to be a large and unmanageable risk to the industry, and a downward trend is identified in terms of snow reliability, these risks are not perceived to be connected to the wider anthropogenic climate change discourse. Waiting for knowledge to increase before taking adaptive action appears to be the most popular business strategy; however, autonomous adaptation is taking place in the form of business diversification, which mitigates against risks including, but not limited to, climate change. This paper concludes that experiences and perceptions of climate change will be highly localised and as a result so too will adaptive behaviours. Marginal ski destinations such as Scotland will be facing a range of non-climatic impacts which will contribute to their contextual vulnerability to climate change and capacity to adapt.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Rights Statement: © 2013 Taylor & Francis
Keywords: Climate Change; Perceptions; adaptation; Mitigation; Ski industry; Scotland
Research Type: Journal Article