Journal article

Community resilience to climate change in a cross-scale tourism governance context: a combined quantitative-qualitative network analysis

Social systems in mountain regions are exposed to a number of disturbances, such as climate change. Calls for conceptual and practical approaches on how to address climate change have been taken up in the literature. The resilience concept as a comprehensive theory-driven approach to address climate change has only recently increased in importance. Limited research has been undertaken concerning tourism and resilience from a network governance point of view. We analyze tourism supply chain networks with regard to resilience to climate change at the municipal governance scale of three Alpine villages. We compare these with a planned destination management organization (DMO) as a governance entity of the same three municipalities on the regional scale. Network measures are analyzed via a quantitative social network analysis (SNA) focusing on resilience from a tourism governance point of view. Results indicate higher resilience of the regional DMO because of a more flexible and diverse governance structure, more centralized steering of fast collective action, and improved innovative capacity, because of higher modularity and better core-periphery integration. Interpretations of quantitative results have been qualitatively validated by interviews and a workshop. We conclude that adaptation of tourism-dependent municipalities to gradual climate change should be dealt with at a regional governance scale and adaptation to sudden changes at a municipal scale. Overall, DMO building at a regional scale may enhance the resilience of tourism destinations, if the municipalities are well integrated.

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