The sustainability of climate change adaptation strategies in New Zealand's ski industry: a range of stakeholder perceptions
Climate change is a critical sustainability challenge for alpine tourism and the ski industry. Climate change adaptation is characterised as identifying and taking advantage of new business opportunities plus reducing physical risks. For adaptation strategies to be sustainable they should consider the environment, economy and society. While several adaptive ski industry strategies have been identified, not all can fulfil these criteria; some adaptive strategies could be perceived as unsustainable, or maladaptive. This paper provides a qualitative, perceptual study of ski industry stakeholders in Queenstown, New Zealand, addressing perceptions of climate change adaptation by the core industry, wider industry actors, local community and tourists. It answers two research questions: What are perceived as the main climate change adaptation strategies for Queenstown's ski industry? How do ski industry stakeholders perceive current adaptation strategies in terms of sustainability? It finds snowmaking central to addressing both current weather variability and medium/long-term future climate change. Ski-field operators use snowmaking to ensure the industry's economic sustainability, to extend seasons even beyond traditional norms, but with little consideration for environmental or social sustainability. It finds some local people questioning snowmaking on ethical and environmental grounds, and skier acceptance of snowmaking connected to activity preference.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Rights Statement: copyright Taylor & Francis
Keywords: Climate Change; Climate Change adaptation; Ski industry; tourism; New Zealand; Snowmaking; Maladaptation; Stakeholders
Research Type: Journal Article