New publication: Building resilience to climate change – the role of cooperation in alpine tourism networks

January 29, 2014


While there is ample – though partially contradictory – evidence regarding the effects climate change will have on various regions of the world, there is only very limited work dedicated to the analysis of different governance structures, and how these structures are likely to influence the resilience of alpine tourism systems in the face of climate change. We present an analytical framework based on network theory, and apply this to the Swiss case study destination of Engelberg, in order to deduct a number of insights for the future assessment of resilience based on the cooperation of local actors. The main aim of the paper is to come up with comparable resilience metrics based on social network analysis in order to assess the structural strengths and weaknesses of a geographically delimited tourism system in the face of climate change. Together with the action potential of the individual actors these structural properties influence the adaptive capacity of both individual actors, and the tourism system as a whole. In line with comparable studies, we identify structural strengths and weaknesses around the core-periphery distribution (centrality), subgroups (modularity) and information flows (path length). We find that the Engelberg network follows an almost ideal-typical scale-free structure and the overall cooperation rate (density) is comparable to other tourism networks. The main weaknesses of the network with regard to climate change resilience are the lacking integration of public sector actors and the relatively high number of actors in the periphery of the network.

Authored by:

Romano Wyss, Tobias Luthe, Bruno Abegg

Published in:

Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability

Taylor & Francis Online.


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