Vulnerability Is Dynamic! Conceptualising a Dynamic Approach to Coastal Tourism Destinations’ Vulnerability
Coastal regions and islands are among the most popular tourist destinations. They are also highly vulnerable to climate change. Much of the literature on vulnerability, including IPCC reports, states that vulnerability is dynamic. However, vulnerability conceptualisations in the tourism realm have so far taken a static perspective. Static conceptualisation underestimates inherent uncertainties stemming from actor interactions (with one another and their environment) and processes. The interactions and processes are important for developing adaptive strategies in a dynamic world. Hence, frameworks for analysing tourism vulnerability as a dynamic phenomenon are urgently needed. This paper outlines the first steps taken towards a dynamic approach for analysing vulnerability of Caribbean coastal tourism. The approach consists of (1) a conceptual framework focusing on human-human and human-environment interactions at the actor level and (2) an evolutionary methodology. The methodology engages both Caribbean climate change experts and regional actors. Regional actors both respond to and help develop the framework through interactive, or companion, modelling. By focusing on interactions and processes, the approach is expected to yield key insights into the development of vulnerability through time, crucial information for adaptive management.