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Dealing with complexity in tourism settings: the applicability of the 'Resilient Futures Process' to the management of tourism resources

Wegner, A., Allison, H.E. and Tremblay, P. (2009) Dealing with complexity in tourism settings: the applicability of the 'Resilient Futures Process' to the management of tourism resources. In: 18th annual tourism and hospitality education and research conference: See change: tourism and hospitality in a dynamic world, 10 - 13 February, Fremantle, Western Australia

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This paper examines the applicability of the concept of 'resilience' and a closely associated management framework ('resilient futures process') to the tourism context. The approach has developed as a methodological derivative of ecological systems analysis. The paper sets to explore the potential contribution of the resilience approach to tourism, by firstly outlining the ways in which tourism constitutes a 'complex system', in the first section. Additionally, it uses the example of 'climate change and tourism' adaptation frameworks to explore the implications of the approach as well as some challenges with its extension towards tourism sector coordination. In the light of the tourism system being understood as a complex network of stakeholders' collaboration the emphasis being as a mechanism supporting the coordination of diverse and imperfectly compatible assets on which the tourism sector depends. Developing and implementing adaptive management strategies inevitably starts by identifying stakeholders' values as well as developing shared decision-making responsibilities. The ability of social and ecological systems to cope and learn from radical change can be referred to as 'resilience' aiming for the system to build the capacity to learn and adapt. Climate change provides a generic category of threat that arises out of global human actions (in which tourism participates) but is predominantly external to the tourism system - both in terms of its causes and the remedies that are likely to mitigate it. Using and applying resilience thinking to tourism systems in cases of uncertainty is beneficial in order to address and adapt to changing conditions. This paper explores the resilience concept, illustrates how it can link to complex tourism systems and its potential applicability on the example of climate change.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Notes: In: Carlsen, Jack (Editor); Hughes, Michael (Editor); Holmes, Kirsten (Editor); Jones, Roy (Editor). See Change: Tourism & Hospitality in a Dynamic World. Fremantle, W.A.: Curtin University of Technology
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