Fourteen years of tourism and climate change research in Southern Africa: Lessons on sustainability under conditions of global change

Gijsbert Hoogendoorn, Jennifer M. Fitchett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Research on tourism and climate change in Southern Africa saw its inception with the publication of a book chapter by Preston-Whyte and Watson entitled, “Nature Tourism and Climatic Change in Southern Africa” in Hall and Higham’s book entitled: Tourism, Recreation and Climate Change (Channelview). This publication laid the foundation for future research on the interface between sustainable tourism development and climate change in Southern Africa, yet the topic remained under researched compared to many countries in the Global North for over a decade. In recent years, the climate change-tourism nexus has received renewed interest and has bloomed into a burgeoning focus of investigation, including both quantitative and qualitative analyses across a wide spectrum of climate change threats to tourism in Southern Africa. Here we reassess Preston-Whyte and Watson’s concerns regarding the climate change threats and opportunities for sustainable tourism development in Southern Africa in light of contemporary regional research outputs in this domain, the updated projections of the fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the more recent special report on “Global warming of 1.5°C” and the local South African Weather Services Climate Change Atlas of South Africa. Through this critical reflection, we highlight key research avenues that require investigation to more comprehensively quantify the climate change threats to tourism in South Africa to ensure the sustainability of the sector, and re-evaluate the largely positive outlook provided in this pioneering work.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNatural Resources, Tourism and Community Livelihoods in Southern Africa
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges of Sustainable Development
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781000763591
ISBN (Print)9780367254124
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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