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Financing Climate Change Adaptation in Small Islands: Assessing Accommodation Suppliers’ Perceptions in Thailand

Hess, Janto Simon; (2020) Financing Climate Change Adaptation in Small Islands: Assessing Accommodation Suppliers’ Perceptions in Thailand. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study links the topics of island studies, climate change, and tourism with regards to perceptions around financing climate change adaptation. In many small tropical islands, such as in Thailand’s island destinations, tourism is the main economic sector and driver for development. It is projected that climate change will lead to significant alterations in the natural environment of these island destinations, which may affect the tourism industry. This raises the question of how, if at all, locally bound tourism stakeholders in small islands, such as accommodation providers, consider climate change risks and if they already invest (consciously or not) in climate change adaptation measures. Against this background, this study investigates to what extent accommodation owner-managers do recognise climate change in their strategic investment decisions. For the empirical part of this research, a total of 193 surveys and 32 in-depth interviews were conducted with accommodation owner-managers and key experts. The data (apart from four expert interviews) was collected at the two case-study sites of Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand and Koh Phi Phi in the Andaman Sea. A comparative analysis between the two islands was undertaken. The perceptions of the accommodation providers towards climate change was analysed using stakeholder theory and considering their capacity to adapt to changes as well as their willingness to finance adaptation measures. The findings show that strategic investment decisions of the sampled accommodation owner-managers are influenced by impacts commonly associated with climate change. Most businesses already invest in adaptation, whereas it appears to be rather a reactive (unconscious) form of adaptation. The perceptions towards investments in adaptation are shaped by the stakeholder dynamics (with a concentration of power), selective and overly weak law enforcement, and a constraint access to information about (localised) climate change impacts and response strategies.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Financing Climate Change Adaptation in Small Islands: Assessing Accommodation Suppliers’ Perceptions in Thailand
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Thailand; Tourism; Climate Change; Small Islands; Adaptation; Climate Finance; Stakeholder Theory.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10105251
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