WIT Press

Assessing Knowledge Of Social Representations Of Climate Change And Tourism


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M. B. Gómez-Martín & X. A. Armesto-López


The aim of this study was to explore how university students of Spain perceive climate change and its effects on and relationship to the Spanish tourism sector, and their attitudes towards this issue. This included the identification of the problem, the relative importance it was given compared to other problems, assessment of the potential threat it posed to the tourism sector and appraisal of the contribution made by the tourism sector to climate change. The methodology employed was a survey: 400 individual questionnaires were administered to university students. The exploitation of the information collected is performed by using univariate descriptive procedures. The results indicate a low level of awareness among this young segment of population of the risks associated with climate change, which is seen as representing little threat to the tourism sector and as being distant in time and space. Through our study, we aimed to contribute to filling the void which currently exists as regards to understanding how different segments of population construct their representations of the inter-relationship between climate change and tourism, since such knowledge could help improve the effectiveness of the adaptation and mitigation strategies which are being, or could be designed and implemented in both the public and private tourism sectors.


tourism, perceptions, attitudes, climate change, adaptation, Spain.