International Journal on Advanced Science, Engineering and Information Technology, Vol. 5 (2015) No. 6, pages: 379-386, DOI:10.18517/ijaseit.5.6.553

Vulnerability Assessment of Agri-ecotourism Communities as Influenced by Climate Change

Hanilyn A. Hidalgo

Abstract

The growth of tourism in the Philippines can be largely attributed to nature-based destinations but communities in these areas largely depend on farming and fishing to sustain their day-to-day needs.  The need to capacitate the community’s social and human capital in addressing climate change impacts to their livelihood, properties and natural environment is deemed necessary to lessen their vulnerability issues in the management of agriecotourism destinations. The study aimed to 1.) characterize and rank hazards that are likely to affect the nature-based tourism communities, 2.) describe the nature-based tourism communities’ current sensitivity and exposure to climate stresses; and 3.) estimate future vulnerability and risks of nature-based tourism communities.  Three agri-ecotourism communities were selected using five criteria such as attraction uniqueness, hazard type, risk level, tourism dependency and market potential.  The areas were subjected to tourism vulnerability case assessment focusing on services and energy; human health; food, security, water and agriculture; business and continuity; and biodiversity and culture.   Calaguas Island’s top hazards are typhoon, drought and strong wind.  Pecuaria Farm’s main hazards are drought, rat infestation and grass fire while Bulusan Lake’s major hazards are heavy rains and ash falls brought by volcanic eruption.  Generally, vulnerability is high in the human health, services and energy sectors of tourism. The vulnerability of the three agri-ecotourism sites was intensified by factors that merely characterize the kind of community they have: a) high marketing dependency, b) poor political will, c) low level of awareness and preparedness, d) poor farming practices and e) lack of tourism-related livelihood options. Destinations with functioning agricultural areas are the most affected sites due to an estimated increase in the temperature and increase in rainfall precipitations.  Poverty remains to be the major factor why vulnerability is high.

Keywords:

agri-ecotourism communities; vulnerability assessment; climate change; Philippines

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