Ph.D. Dissertation: Research Objectives and Methods

My dissertation assesses climate impacts and adaptation for the tourism sector of a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) - The Bahamas. This nation relies heavily on tourism and faces climate vulnerabilities as other SIDS. With tourism being key to the Bahamas' sustainable development through its support to economic growth and employment, the dissertation is significant in identifying risks and adaptation planning for this tourism-based economy faced with unprecedented climate change.

Three manuscripts in this dissertation examine impacts of climate change on tourism, assess businesses’ adaptive capacity, and evaluate climate adaptation in current plans and policies regarding tourism. I explore this using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods in the following overarching research objectives:

1. To assess the potential impacts of sea-level rise and storm surge on the Bahamas’ tourism and spillover socio-economic losses to the Bahamas from these projected impacts

Methods: Geospatial modeling (ArcGIS), statistical trend analysis

2. To evaluate how coastal businesses deal with climate impacts, barriers hindering adaptation, factors related to their capacity to adapt, and the contribution of these businesses to the Bahamas' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Methods: Survey questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, SPSS descriptive analysis

3. To examine how climate change is considered in the current plans and policies related to tourism and existing gaps in the planning

Methods: Content analysis using NVivo, semi-structured interviews with public officials 

Fieldwork for collecting GIS data; examples of physical infrastructure protection measures for sea-level rise and storm surge on New Providence and Paradise Island, The Bahamas