Strategic tourism management to address natural hazards in coastal areas: lessons from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Article publication date: 25 January 2019
Issue publication date: 19 June 2019
The integral approach to risk is currently an important background for the local development processes within the sustaintability framework. Given the greater frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events in the period 2005-2015, whose inventory shows a total of 78 extreme climate events in the four thermal stations, the purpose of this paper is to analyze risk situations and their corresponding management in the tourist destinations (TD) of the Atlantic coast of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Risk management in TDs has not been addressed in depth in the study area. Because of that, this study is exploratory and descriptive, and it was conducted by quantitative and qualitative methods. The occurrence of extreme weather events was the trigger of this study. Thereafter, the existence of risk situations was analyzed from the combination of natural hazards and material and human damage. The actions taken by the public sector were identified to make a diagnosis of the current management of coastal destinations in the province of Buenos Aires.
The result of this study shows that TDs do not apply integral models of risk management, as only 16% of the total registered events were attended by public management from reactive measures to the event. It is believed possible to replicate this study in other TDs, regardless of its main tourism modality, as the analysis carried out in the coastal destinations of Buenos Aires shows that it is necessary to plan and manage risk to avoid and/or mitigate material, social and economic damages of the resident and tourist population.
The main implication of the study, in practical terms, is associated with the incorporation of specific equipment for the detection of storms and other meteorological phenomena. In addition, it should start, from the management, with a process of awareness of the resident and tourist population about the risk and its consequences.
Knowing the existence of natural hazards is a strategic resource for public management. From the identification of the hazards, exposure and vulnerability of the population, it is possible to begin to take measures to mitigate the risk and conduct awareness campaigns about the risk situations that may arise from the occurrence of meteorological phenomena. in beach areas. In this sense, the development of a culture of risk is very important.
The relationship between the occurrence of extreme weather events and tourism has not been addressed in depth in Argentina. Therefore, this work provides an interdisciplinary vision (from tourism and physical geography) about the hazards that extreme phenomena represent in TDs, the situations of risk that they detaches there and the weakness of public management in coastal destinations of Buenos Aires. This case study shows that the absence of planning and risk management has serious implications for the continuity of the development processes of the destinations.
The present work was carried out within the framework of the research project “Climate and Tourism in Argentina”, Project of Research Group subsidized by the Universidad Nacional del Sur (PGI 24/ZG12) and the CONICET Grant to carry out postgraduate studies by PhD candidate Ariadna Tanana.
Tanana, A.B., Rodriguez, C.A. and Gil, V. (2019), "Strategic tourism management to address natural hazards in coastal areas: lessons from Buenos Aires, Argentina", Tourism Review, Vol. 74 No. 3, pp. 503-516. https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-04-2018-0047
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