Climate change & tourism

Tourism responses to climate change: a
social network approach
Marta Bystrowska (Specialist at the Ministry of Regional Development, Poland /
Ma political sciences and regional development) –
[email protected]
Hin Hoarau-Heemstra (PhD student/ research fellow University of Nordland) –
[email protected]
Karin Wigger (Managing director at Magic Ice AS; Student of Circumpolar
studies at the University of Nordland) – [email protected]
Outline presentation
Theoretical frame
• Climate change in the Arctic & consequences for tourism
on Svalbard
• Innovation as tool for adaptation to changes in the social
and natural environment
• Network & system approach to innovation in tourism
Research question
How is climate change perceived in Svalbard´s tourism
network and how do experience-based companies
adapt their products, processes or organization
• Arctic cases function as ´canary in the coalmine´
for understanding the impact of climate change
on tourism destinations
• Empirical evidence of how network
characteristics influence innovation processes in
order to adapt to external uncertainties like
climate change
• Understanding the impacts of climate on
innovative behavior of the tourism industry is
relevant for other destinations as well
Theoretical framework
Climate change
& tourism
Innovation as
innovation &
TF 1
TF 2
TF 3
TF1: Climate change & tourism
• Climate sensitive & weather dependent
• Mitigation & Adaptation
TF2: innovation
• Innovation as the process of making changes, large and
small, radical and incremental, to products, processes,
and services that results in the introduction of
something new for the organization that adds value to
customers and contributes to the knowledge store of
the organization.
• Innovation types: product, process, organizational and
• Innovation as strategic reflexive response to the
environment  interpretation and sense-making occur
before action & behaviour
TF3: Innovation as responsive initiative
• Bansal & Roth (2000): model of ecological
• Contextual factors & motivations for change
– Ecological context
– Organizational field context
– Individual context
A circular understanding of
responsive innovativeness
TF4: Tourism innovation & networks
• relation between cooperation in networks and
• Sharing of knowledge between actors in a
network seems to be the main link between
network cooperation and innovation.
• network structure influences knowledge
sharing between actors
Network elements
• Social network analysis
– Survey
– Quantitative network analysis
– SNA software UCINET 6 version 6.375.
• Qualitative case study tourism destination Svalbard
Semi structured interviews (6 recorded & transcribed)
Informal meetings
Participant observations March/April 2012
Document analysis
Findings & discussion
Case description Svalbard
Svalbard´s tourism destination network
Attitudes towards climate change
Climate change responsiveness
– We understand responses with the impacts the different
contexts have on tourism actors.
Network architecture
Dense, coherent and homogeneous network
• Tourism actors on Svalbard know, depend on and
trust each other but new, external knowledge is
hardly absorbed
• The ecological and organizational field context of
Svalbard do not seem to favor a response to CC
• Accurate knowledge about Arctic CC & adaptive
innovations are mainly lacking
• Organize tourism destination actors in formal
networks to increase their resilience to climate
The End….
Thank you for your attention!
Questions & suggestions are welcome
Marta, Karin & Hin

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