Coastal tourism and climate change: Risk perceptions of tourism stakeholders in South Africa’s garden route

Wayde R. Pandy, Christian M. Rogerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Coastal tourism destinations are highly vulnerable to the ramifications of climate change. Research conducted in South Africa has identified the potential losses associated with climate change on beach or coastal environments as one of the largest concerns for the tourism industry. In addressing the challenge of climate change a critical research issue is advancing our understanding of the risk perceptions of tourism stakeholders. The aim is to investigate risk perceptions of business stakeholders towards climate change impacts in one of South Africa’s leading coastal destinations, the Garden Route District Municipality in Western Cape province. The results are analysed from 30 qualitative interviews conducted with tourism business owners and managers. Four core themes were scrutinised, namely awareness of climate change, perceptions of the potential climate change risks, the prioritisation of climate change as compared to other business risks, and greening and adaptive measures pursued by businesses. Overall, climate change is not considered as a major issue for tourism businesses in the Garden Route especially as compared to the immediate or pressing challenges relating to marketing, infrastructural deficits, government regulations and local human resource development for tourism. This conclusion raises significant concerns for the resilience of coastal tourism destinations and local economic development futures in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)730-739
Number of pages10
JournalGeojournal of Tourism and Geosites
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Business adaptation
  • Climate change
  • Coastal tourism
  • Local economic development
  • Risk perception
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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