Climate change's impact on tourism: The attitude of Australia's Generation Y

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Hospitality Application and Research


Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra


School of Business and Law




Vermeersch, L., Willson, G., & Sanders, D. (2017). Climate changes impact on tourism: the attitude of Australias Generation Y. Journal of Hospitality Application & Research, 12(2), 24-40.

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Climate change is a major concern for governments, policymakers and citizens of the world. Within Australia, the climate change debate was at the forefront of the recent general election, with major political parties proposing significant policies in this area. Australias tourism industry is heavily reliant on natural attractions, and thus, climate change and its potential for resource degradation are pertinent issues for tourism policymakers. While the scientific consequences of climate change have been well considered, an important voice - that of young people, has received a paucity of scholarly attention. In particular, there has been a lack of scholarly research focusing on the attitudes of Generation Y Australians (born between 1977 and 1995 inclusively) towards climate change and resource depletion. This paper addresses this gap by presenting results from in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted with fourteen Australian Generation Y members. The participants in this study overwhelmingly believe in climate change, conclude that humanity is suffering from associated impacts of it, fear for the future of Australias tourism industry and want to make a difference. However, research participants reported that they face significant challenges in behaving consistently with their environmental attitudes. The paper aims to open a dialogue that reflects a greater understanding of Generation Ys conflicted ideas and actions on climate change.

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