Keywords: tourism, climate change, global environmental change, entrepreneurship, New Zealand, adaptation, mitigation, small firms, entrepreneurs, attitudes, behaviours
New Zealand tourism entrepreneur attitudes and behaviours with respect to climate change adaptation and mitigation
Although the potential impacts of climate change on tourism has been examined with respect to tourism destinations and resorts there is a dearth of information on the attitudes and behaviours of small firm entrepreneurs even though such enterprises make up by far the bulk of the tourism industry by number of businesses. The attitudes and adaptation and mitigation behaviours of New Zealand entrepreneurs towards climate change is reported in a longitudinal qualitative study of 43 rural tourism businesses. Climate change was regarded as potentially significant in the future but in the short-term ranked well below other business concerns. Significantly, where enterprises had been affected by extreme weather events attitudes and behaviours towards climate change differed markedly from those unaffected, although opposition to regulatory approaches with respect to climate change continued. Overall, adaptation rather than mitigation appeared to be the favoured strategies of tourism businesses.