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5. Economic and Labour Market Implications of Climate Change on the Tourism Sector of the Maltese Islands

Economic and Labour Market Implications of Climate Change on the Tourism Sector of the Maltese Islands
Pages 55-68
A. Jones

Abstract:

This paper reviews threats to, and consequences of, current climate and environmental change on tourism destinations. The paper reviews recent published research on the impacts of climate and environmental change and consequences of such on the physical social and economic character of tourism operations using the Maltese Islands as a case. The validity and practicality of management options to tackle the complex nature and juxtaposition between tourism growth, climate and environment change and tourism destination management are considered, including an evaluation of management responses, the efficacy of local governance and consequent policy options and choices.

The research methodology is focussed upon a qualitative evaluation of contextual issues utilising media analysis techniques from case studies drawn from the immediate locality of the study area. These are used to highlight and illustrate particular sensitive issues and points for contention and how these in turn might relate to tourism in Malta and its future prospects. Conclusions from the research demonstrate and discuss the efficacy of current predictions and how tourism infrastructure and destination management issues should be tailored to more strategic policy responses from all key tourism and environmental stakeholders in both the private and public sectors. In this respect the paper highlights the current impasse between public perception and policy implementation which, to date, largely continues to ignore immediate threats and thus fails to provide adequate strategic management responses or responsible governance.

In conclusion strategic and combined management strategies are considered and advocated for managing tourism destinations and for addressing the increasing demands from the often complex tiers of stakeholder groups that are represented. In this context implications are further drawn for the future prospects for tourism within the Maltese Islands. These specifically relate to changing demands to tourism employment, tourism product and service growth, tourism capital investment, tourism competitiveness and tourism skills and educational development.

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