Ecotourism Adaptation Practices to Climate Change in the Context of Sustainable Management in Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan
In spite of the influence of climate change on tourism destinations, particularly those rely heavily on natural resources, little attention paid to study the appropriate adaptation efforts to cope with, moderate and benefit from the impacts of climate change. The existing literature indicated that the research of climate change adaptation in the tourism and outdoor recreation field is at least 5-7 years behind other sectors such as water resources and agriculture. In Jordan, there are many observed changes in climate patterns such as higher temperatures, decreased precipitation and increased severity and frequency of drought. Dana Biosphere Reserve (DBR), the largest protected area and the major eco-tourism destination in Jordan, is facing climate change, which gradually degrading environment, shifting tourism seasons and changing livelihood and lifestyle of local communities. This study aims to assess climate change adaptation practices and policies used in DBR to cope with climate change related-risks. We conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with key informants in DBR to assess climate change adaptation practices. Direct content analysis (or a priori content analysis) was used to determine the components and indicators of climate change adaptation. The results found that DBR has implemented a wide range of adaptation practices, including infrastructure development, diversification of tourism products, environmentally-friendly practices, visitor management, land use management, rainwater collection, environmental monitoring and research, environmental education and collaboration with stakeholders. These diverse practices implicitly and explicitly play an important role in coping with the social, economic and environmental impacts caused by climate change. Finally, this study demonstrated that climate change adaptation is closely related to sustainable management of eco-tourism.