Griffith University  helps Qld Tourism tackle climate change in new plan

Griffith University helps Qld Tourism tackle climate change in new plan

Griffith University has taken a vital role in shaping the future of tourism industry in Queensland, assisting in the development of a new Climate Change Adaptation Plan released this year.

Griffith Institute for Tourism director Professor Susanne Becken has been the primary author of the newly released Queensland Tourism Climate Change Response Plan, which draws on 20 years of research into climate change and tourism.

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council-led plan  in collaboration with Department of Environment and Science, examines the opportunities and challenges that exists ahead for operators, travellers and other tourism stakeholders in navigating the changing world around us.

The plan observes short- and medium-term time frames (2030), as well as long-term goals to meet the state’s zero-net-emissions plan by 2050.

Statistics show that the most direct climate change-related risks facing the local tourism market are physical impacts, be they acute (e.g. cyclones, floods) or chronic (e.g. sea-level rise).

Besides  there will be new opportunities to enhance tourism’s long-term resilience through changes  such as investment towards low-carbon technologies and building designs, and increased use of renewable energy.

Professor Becken said the strategy would be a “gold standard” for tourism destination climate plans in future.

“This strategy combines the best knowledge locally and globally on how climate change will impact tourism and what the industry can do about it,” she said.

“It also covers the low carbon transition that no doubt will affect tourism but also provides a great opportunity towards better and cleaner products and experiences.”

Launched at an industry event in Maleny , the Queensland Tourism Climate Change Response Plan was developed aligned with Australia’s international commitment as a signatory to the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The plan was developed over a six-month period and considered the input from more than 150 industry stakeholders.

Tourism continues to provide a significant portion of Queensland’s income, worth about $25 billion in the year to 2016. More than 225,000 Queenslanders are employed in tourism industry across about 54,000 businesses.

“The reality is that tourism remains a vital part of the state economy, and it is crucial that industry and government work together to secure Queensland’s future as a destination market of choice among Australian and international travellers,” Professor Becken said.