THEORY OF VULNERABILITY AND REMARKABLE RESILIENCE OF TOURISM DEMAND TO CLIMATE CHANGE: EVIDENCE FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN BASIN
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Climate change has become one of the most important challenges for societies around the world. However, the tourism industry's vulnerability and readiness to cope with climate change are unclear. This study advances the current body of knowledge by conceptualizing and empirically analyzing the effects of climate change on tourism demand using a vulnerability theoretical framework. Specifically, the effects of exposure; sensitivity; human well-being, and economic, social, and political development are tested on 17 countries located in the Mediterranean Basin during the period of 1995-2012. The findings of the study demonstrate the remarkable resilience and adaptive capacity of the tourism industry. Contrary to the notion that climate change will result in disastrous outcomes for the tourism industry in the Mediterranean Basin, improvements in overall well-being and progress in economic, social, and political developments seem to more than offset the decline in tourism demand due to climate change. The findings point to new theoretical and practical implications for coping with negative climatic changes and advance future academic research in the area.