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Title: Climate change interactions with tourism and the landscape
Author: Cavan, Gina
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2009
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Countryside tourism and recreation has increased considerably in scale and diversity over the last three decades, and as a result, environmental impacts are being experienced, especially in popular locations. Impacts include disturbance of wildlife, visitor over-crowding, and erosion of footpaths. Areas freely open to public access such as National Parks and the open countryside are particularly susceptible to pressure. Climate change exerts a strong influence on landscape condition, and this may increase the vulnerability of recreational landscapes to visitor pressure. Since most outdoor tourism relies on the attraction of visitors to the countryside, such as to coasts or mountains, these resources are likely to be vulnerable to changes in climate. The overarching aim of this thesis is to explore climate change interactions with tourism and visitor capacity, with a view to developing adaptation strategies. In particular, the thesis is concerned with developing a methodology through which the impacts of climate change on tourism and the landscape can be assessed at the regional and landscape scales. Thus, it develops and applies a novel approach to explore climate change impacts through Landscape Character Assessment and capacity analysis. The research focuses on the analysis of geospatial data which provides an indication of visitor pressure and landscape sensitivity. Multi-level governance is an emerging theme in climate change adaptation (EU, 2007), and this thesis shows how scientific understanding of climate change and visitor capacity can inform policy across different levels of scale. North West England is chosen as the case study region, as its landscapes are considered a nationally important tourism resource and have been the focus for previous research in this area. The regional scale analysis indicates that the capacity of the landscape to accommodate visitor pressure varies within and between landscape character areas. The output of this analysis enables the identification of critically vulnerable locations, and highlights that the rural upland domain is particularly vulnerable to climate change. The Peak District National Park is one such critical vulnerable area in the uplands. This National Park is researched in more detail through footpath erosion: a key process which provides strong interactions between visitors and the landscape that will be intensified by climate change. Reponses are then explored through costed adaptation strategies to prevent adverse impacts on the landscape.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available