EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Resilience analysis in tourism destinations: Reflections from a development cooperation project 

Elena Eckert1, Eva Posch2,3, and Benni Thiebes3
Elena Eckert et al.
  • 1Leuphana University, Bremen, Germany
  • 2Department of Geography, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 3German Committee for Disaster Reduction (DKKV), Bonn, Germany

Cross-cutting industries such as tourism face many risks due to an increase of hazards as well as underlying socio-economic drivers. These developments have reinforced the necessity to build resilience and include risk-informed management in tourism. While these approaches have evolved as key concepts in research, development practice, and in the private sector, tourism destinations in the Global South often lack data, financial resources, or institutional capacities for analysing and managing risks and build resilience. The project ‘Destination Resilience’ examined how disaster resilience in tourism destinations in the Global South can be best analysed and strengthened. We developed a 5-step approach that supports the analysis and management of different risks in tourism destinations and involves a wide set of tourism actors from private and public sectors to enhance the overall resilience of their destinations. The 5-step approach consists of a variety of participatory methods including focus groups, gallery walks, workshop discussions and questionnaires and was implemented in Sri Lanka, the Dominican Republic, and Namibia. Following the 5-step approach, we analysed the tourism system, identified key risks for tourism in the given destinations (e.g., floods, landslides, hurricanes, and droughts) and explored options for action to build disaster resilience. Based on an evaluation workshop, content analysis and expert interviews, we explored and tested the approach in terms of its social functionality, technical applicability, and cultural transferability as well as its ability to improve risk awareness among tourism actors. Our findings indicate that addressing risks in tourism destinations is complex due to the systemic character and complex interplay of risks and the tourism industry. The findings also highlight the importance (a) to engage a wide range of stakeholders to overcome issues such as data availability or lack of feeling of responsibility; (b) to address tourism destinations as systems consisting of a wide set of actors; (c) to use common terminology across sectors and countries; and (d) to proactively address risk in tourism destinations. The described research activities have been implemented by DKKV and Futouris with support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

How to cite: Eckert, E., Posch, E., and Thiebes, B.: Resilience analysis in tourism destinations: Reflections from a development cooperation project , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15855,, 2023.