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Calls for a climate change communication strategy for SA tourism sector

The group commissioned a detailed climate change risk and vulnerability assessment of the tourism sector in the 2019/20 financial year to help build the sector’s resilience. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

The group commissioned a detailed climate change risk and vulnerability assessment of the tourism sector in the 2019/20 financial year to help build the sector’s resilience. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Aug 26, 2021

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Cape Town - The National Department of Tourism and industry partners are calling for a Climate Change Communication Strategy for the country’s tourism sector.

The department, with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) and the German Co-operation for International Services (GIZ), will be hosting various stakeholder workshops to assist the Institute of Natural Resources (INR) in developing this strategy.

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The group commissioned a detailed climate change risk and vulnerability assessment of the tourism sector in the 2019/20 financial year to help build the sector’s resilience and adaptive capacity to the impacts of climate change while also ensuring its sustainability.

This led to partnership to identify the need for the development of a climate change communication strategy to affect education and training (one of the priority areas in the implementation plan).

In a statement, the INR said the strategy would be designed through a consultative process and ultimately aimed to inform climate change responses to facilitate the transition to a more climate resilient and sustainable tourism sector – which was especially exposed due to weather and climate directly influencing tourism decision making and destination management.

“As such, climate change mitigation and adaptation are vital to enable the sector to be prepared for, respond to, protect and recover from extreme weather events and climate variation,” said the INR.

The first stakeholder consultation workshop took place yesterday and was facilitated by Dr. Sershen Naidoo, Professor Urmilla Bob and Dr Suveshnee Munien, where stakeholders were able to make contributions towards the tourism sector’s first Climate Change Communication Strategy.

The rest of the workshops will be taking place this month and the next month (August and September) to give insight into the theory underpinning the communication strategy, while gathering inputs from the participants to inform its design.

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