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Marine tourism in the face of global change: the resilience of enterprises to crises in Thailand and Australia

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Ocean and Coastal Management
Volume105
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)65-74
Publication statusPublished
Early online date6/01/15
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Marine-oriented nature-based tourism plays an important socio-economic role, and provides an incentive for conservation in many coastal regions. However, accelerating global change, and the associated socio-economic and political change may have severe consequences for marine tourism at the local level. Thus, understanding the ability of sectors within marine tourism to cope with, and adapt to, change is paramount. Private sector enterprises are key players in marine tourism and their capacity to adapt to change will vary across socio-economic and governance contexts. Thus, the resilience of these enterprises (their ability to adapt to, and continue to function under changing pressures and circumstances) is critical for the future of the marine tourism sector more broadly. This paper examines how socioeconomic and governance contexts influence the resilience of coral reef tourism enterprises in three settings: the formal and informal sector in Phuket, Thailand and enterprises on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Although there are differences between the three groups of enterprises, lifestyle factors, human capital, perceived reef condition, and government support are associated with the resilience of enterprises across all three groups. These findings suggest that policy-makers should consider enterprise lifestyle benefits, and that a nuanced understanding of marine tourism enterprises is required. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.