Newfound Opportunity? The potential impacts of climate change on the tourism industry of western Newfoundland
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The purpose of this research was to assess the potential impact of climate change on the western Newfoundland tourism industry. Western Newfoundland was chosen as it has a variety of recreational activities that attract tourists. To this end, a mixed methods approach was deemed most appropriate. It allowed for the use of the qualitative procedures of interviews and document analysis as well as the quantitative procedures of statistical climate modeling. The qualitative research demonstrated that there was a desire for further growth in the tourism industry and a general lack of concern for the affects of climate change. The quantitative methods projected that three different recreational and tourism activities studied in this thesis could be altered by climate change. Of the tourism industries examined, snowmobiling was projected to suffer shortened seasons, skiing was projected to see slight losses or to maintain its current season length, and golf was projected to extend its season and increase the number of playable rounds. When the two methods were integrated, there was a gap between the potential changes in the tourism industry and the lack of adaptation plans from the province or the tourism sector. Based on these findings, a series of recommendations were made to the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation and various tourism operators. This research will contribute a new perspective to the substantial existing literature on tourism, to the growing research on climate change, and to the essential research on Newfoundland and Labrador.