Climate communication for adaptation planning in the tourism sector in Livingstone, Zambia.

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Muteba, Tuliswayo
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University of Zambia
Following the collapse of the mining industry in the late 1980s, tourism has been identified as one of the key economic sectors for Zambia. Its ability to generate foreign exchange, create employment and contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), makes the sector valuable to the national economy. Tourism being one of the most climate sensitive sectors faces the risk of derailment as a result of increased climate variability and change. The need for coping and adapting the sector to climate variability and change necessitates the need for access to accurate and reliable climate information communicated through reliable channels. Literature review conducted did not reveal any studies that had been conducted on the effectiveness of the different channels of climate communication utilized in Zambia’s tourism sector. This study, therefore, sought to determine the effectiveness of climate communication in tourism in Livingstone, Zambia. Specifically, it sought to; 1) determine how tourism activities were affected by climate variability in Livingstone, 2) identify climate information that is of relevance to tourists and tourism operators in Livingstone, and 3) evaluate the effectiveness of the methods used to communicate climate information in Livingstone from the end users’ point of view. The study adopted a mixed method approach and conducted a survey among six key informants, 17 tourism operators, 80 international tourists and 140 local tourists. Data collected through semi structured interviews was analysed using thematic analysis while quantitative data from structured interviews was analysed using ANOVA- Least Square Difference post hoc test. The findings of the study indicated droughts 53percent, heat waves 53 percent, flooding 12percent and change in rainfall patterns 76percent as the main climate variability impacts affecting tourism activities. Wildlife safaris 36 percent and Victoria Falls viewing 30percent were the most affected tourism activities by climate variability. It was also observed that tourists and tourism operators were more interested in climate information on rainfall and temperature because most tourism activities such as Victoria Falls and game viewing are affected by amount of rainfall and high temperatures. Most tourism operators 87.5percent perceived climate information to be very important as it was key to planning tourism activities. However, only 59 percent of tourism operators and 66 percent of tourists have access to climate information. Based on the five measures of effectiveness; accessibility, timely dissemination, ease of language, relevance and credibility, the least square difference post hoc test revealed the internet and television as the most effective methods of disseminating climate information in Livingstone’s tourism sector. Both the internet and television indicated significant differences compared with other modes of communication with higher means. In conclusion the study indicated that climate communication for tourism in Livingstone was ineffective as most communication channels had low mean scores.
Zambia--Climate. , Communication in meteorology--Zambia , Weather forecasting-- Zambia , Climatic changes--Forecasting--Zambia. , Risk communication--Zambia.