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The aim of this paper is to present the potential of ecotourism to develop into a niche contributing to climate change adaptation strategies whilst making the existing tourism industry more resilient. The paper provides an overview of mitigation measures adopted in Malta by the aviation, tourism and hospitality industry as well as policy makers in the archipelago to respond to major challenges that climate change poses for tourism. These changes are vital to lure ecotourists and to support ecotourism development. Six main themes emerged from the research in the context of the role ecotourism can play as an adaptation to climate change. These include (1) the impact of climate change on coastal tourism, (2) the role of ecotourism as an adaptation strategy, (3) the impact of climate change on marine ecotourism, (4) air and sea travel to the archipelago and inter-island travel, their impact on climate and mitigation strategies to reduce emissions, (5) measures being taken by the tourism industry to fight climate change and their influence on ecotourism, and (6) Gozo - transitioning from an eco-island to a carbon-neutral island. The paper concludes that while Malta and Gozo are working towards various environmental strategies, and Gozo has been earmarked to become a carbon neutral island, more concrete actions must be taken. The Archipelago has a track record of failing to reach objectives related to sustainability. Malta missed the 2020 target to increase its share of renewable energy to 10% and the 2020 target for Gozo to become an eco-island. Instead of such rhetoric, a tangible commitment with wide support along the political spectrum is needed to avoid abandoning key initiatives seeking sustainability with changes in administration.
"Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in a Small Archipelago: the Role of Ecotourism in Malta,"
International Journal of Islands Research:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijir/vol3/iss1/6
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