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Royal Anthropological Institute / Development Studies Association Tourism Research Seminars


Tourism and Climate Change: resilience and resistance in Vietnam

Prof Peter Burns, Professor of Tourism and International Development and Director of the Institute for Tourism Research, University of Bedfordshire

Monday 20 February 2016 at 5.30 pm

Abstract: Tourism is so well embedded into society and integrated into modern economies that its sensational growth in the 20th century makes thinking about change very problematic. Except, in the 21st century, tourism is having change forced upon it. In addition to the changes bought about by overwhelming numbers of tourists, or by decreasing air travel costs (something most likely at an end), a new pressure is being forced upon many destinations as climate change unpicks familiar and reliable weather patterns that have shaped seasonality. In addition, physical changes are taking place such as coral bleaching and coastal erosion that have the potential to devastate established tourism products.

This presentation will focus on recent EU funded fieldwork in Vietnam showing the benefits of bringing various sectors of government in close harmony to make multi-disciplinary policy choices. The presentation, based mainly on empirical findings and practical examples, will dwell on the realities faced by academics in their role as policy advisers as they develop empirically based models.

The presentation will also make the point that the potential departures from tourism being forced upon destinations by climate change are not inevitable but can be challenged, but only through collaboration and communication.

Profile: Professor Burns is Director of the Centre for Tourism Policy Studies with a particular interest in tourism, society, and culture. His academic research on tourism and climate change and practical consulting experience in the field of national tourism planning and development has made a significant contribution to the understanding of the complexities of tourism as an industry. Professor Burns has worked closely with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and is part of the international panel of experts, which analyses global trends in tourism.  He was policy adviser on climate change for the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in the run up to CoP15, chaired a specialist tourism panel at CoP21 in Paris, and is a judge on the WTTC ‘Tourism for Tomorrow’ awards. He has worked in over thirty countries on a range of tourism projects funded by the World Bank, UNDP, Asian Development Bank, and the EU. He is an Academician of the (UK) Academy of Social Sciences.

This event is free, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to https://peterburns.eventbrite.co.uk