Tourists Attitudes towards Climate Change

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Research Methodology


The chapter details and accounts for the theoretical and practical applications of the research methods. A case study approach was taken given its flexibility and advantages it offered in exploring the issues under investigation of the twin relationship between tourism and climate change. An outline and analysis of each research approach that was taken are covered, exploring the advantages and challenges of using the particular research approach from a theoretical and practical viewpoint in answering a research question. This is followed by outlining the ethical considerations and practices that were adopted in the research. An account of how data was analysed is also given. The entire step by step account of how the research was done is, therefore, the full focus of this chapter.

Research Philosophy

The field of tourism and environmental studies have been struggling to get a working research paradigm philosophy for ages. Kono (2017) and Pansiri (2006), recommend that these two-research fields given the complexity of the research they undertake must adopt pragmatism as a theoretical framework for research. In light of this recommendation, the pragmatism paradigm was chosen for use in the research design and methodological underpinnings. Pragmatism appreciates and encompasses an all-inclusive methodological approach borrowing from both the qualitative and quantitative research approach (Feilzer, 2010). The approach disentangles itself from the ‘wars’ of paradigms that were characteristic of the qualitative and quantitative research (Ibid).
The pragmatism approach’s main assumptions are that there is no single objective reality, but the subjective inquiry is somewhat possible to conduct (Erlandson et al., 1993). Cresswell and Plano (2007) and Robson (1993), noted that pragmatism allows the “researcher to be free of methodological and practical constraints imposed by choice dichotomy between positivism and constructivism and researchers do not have to be prisoners of a particular research methodology or techniques.” The major assumption is that the world is an experiential world comprising of various strata. These strata can either be objective, subjective or a combination of the two. Fundamentally the two approaches are aimed at producing knowledge that is aimed at showing reality (Rorty, 1999). The idea is that the qualitative and quantitative approach must not be divorced but combined to work together as they do not differ at epistemological and ontological level with common areas of intersect in the inquiry (Hanson, 2008).

Research Design

A mixed method was chosen for this research project due to its applicability to the research that was being undertaken. Mixed method approach provided the researcher with several advantages that are found in the conceptual and practical framework of the research methodological approach. Morse and Niehaus (2009:14), pointed out that “mixed method design is a scientifically rigorous research project, driven by the inductive or deductive theoretical drive, and comprised of a qualitative or quantitative core component with qualitative or quantitative supplementary component (s).” On the other hand, Creswell (2014:4), argues that “mixed method research is an approach to an inquiry involving collecting both quantitative and qualitative data, integrating the two forms of data, and using distinct designs that may involve philosophical assumptions and theoretical frameworks. The assumption is that the combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches provide a complete understanding of a research problem than either approach alone.”
The above definition underpinnings formed the core of choosing the research design for this approach. Creswell (2015), asserted that mixed method makes use of close and open-ended data ’s combined strength to make an understanding of the research problem. This strength and aspect are utilised in the designing of the questionnaire survey tools in this research. In utilising this approach statistical trends in the form of climate data that is quantitative data was combined with and personal experiences which is largely qualitative to answer the research question which either data could do unilateral (Ibid).
It is argued that if appropriately used with caution mixed method can be a powerful tool in answering the research question (Morse and Niehaus, 2009). Creswell, (2013); Hatch, (2002) and also Creswell and Brown (1992), highlighted that qualitative research allows for holistic accounting which assists in developing a complex picture of the research study. This study combined aspects of qualitative and quantitative research design. This allowed the researcher to explore, interpret and understand different aspects of the same phenomenon such as the experience of tourists, tourism operators and other tourism role players and behavioural response to climate change in the Victoria Falls resort. Newman and Benz (1998:3), argues that “qualitative and quantitative approaches should not be viewed as rigid, distinct categories, opposites, or dichotomies. Instead, they represent different ends of a continuum.” Creswell (2014), sharing the same sentiments indicated that the two methodological approaches are not distinct as most researchers tend to more qualitative than quantitative or the opposite.

Case Study Research

A case study approach was used as the premise for this study. The use of this research methodology and debate surrounding its use dates back into the 1970s. It gained its currency and used in the 1990s and today is one of the widely used research methodologies by postgraduate students (Susam-Sarajeva, 2009; Simons, 1996; Adelman et al., 1976). A case study is defined as a multi-research methodological approach that encompasses other sub research methods such as surveys, observations, archived research and reports and interviews among others (Gillham, 2000; Jenkins and Kemmis, 1976; Yin, 1994), provided a similar definition when they postulated that a case study is an overarching term that is used to describe a bucket of methodologies that have an aim of focusing on an inquiry around an instance. Simons (1996), and also Jenkins and Kemmis (1976), noted that the case study research methodology is a form of research in its right generates a significant unique understanding of universal values. Yin (1994), gave a research operational definition of a case study by pointing out that it is a research methodology that allows the researcher to answer the how and why questions within the context of real life. Gillham (2000), noted that case studies make a strong case from utilising multiple sources of data evidence bearing on the same point.
Woodwell (2014), developed a framework to explain the case study research and the role it plays as illustrated in Figure 3.1. This framework was crucial in the research framework and theory building for this research.

Chapter 1: Introduction and Background of the Study 
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Problem Statement
1.3 Rationale
1.4 Aim and Objectives
1.5 Research Questions
1.6 Contribution of the Study
1.7 Study Area
1.8 Thesis Outline : Literature Review
2.1 Introduction 
2.2 Tourism and the global economy
2.3 African and Zimbabwean Tourism Economy
2.4 The Science of Climate Change
2.7 Weather, Climate, Climate Change and Tourism
2.8 Climate Change in Southern Africa: Implications for tourism
2.9 Impact of Climate Change on Tourism
2.10 The Impact of Tourism on Climate Change
2.11 Tourism and Green Economy
2.12 Green Tourism in Zimbabwe
2.13 ConclusionResearch Methodology
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Research Philosophy
3.3 Research Design
3.4 Case Study Research
3.5 Pilot Study
3.6 Sampling
3.7 Data Collection Tools
3.8 Content Analysis
3.9 Secondary Data Analysis
3.10 Analysis of Results
3.11 Ethical Considerations
3.12 Reliability and Validity
3.13 Conclusion Evidence of Climate Variability and Change in Victoria Falls
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Rainfall Pattern 1976-2017
4.3 Maximum Temperature Patterns Victoria Falls 1976-2016
4.4 Victoria Falls Minimum Temperature
4.5 Hydrological Pattern over the years
4.6 Climate Change Implications for the Victoria Falls
4.7 Chapter Conclusion : Tourists Perceptions on and Attitudes Towards the impacts of climate change
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Profile of respondents and Reasons for Visiting
5.3 Tourists Attitudes towards Climate Change
5.4 Perceived Impact of Climate Change on Victoria Falls
5.5 Perceived Impact of extreme droughts and extreme temperatures
5.6 Last Chance Tourism Prospects for Victoria Falls
5.7 Other Tourist Concerns
5.8 Chapter Conclusion Tourism Business Perceptions of Climate change
6.1 Introduction 
6.2 Profile of Respondents
6.3 Perceptions and attitudes to Climate Change
6.4 Perceived implications of climate change on the Victoria Falls
6.5 Conclusion Mapping Sources of GHG Emissions and Potential Mitigation Interventions
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Aviation Sector Carbon Emissions
7.3 Carbon Emissions from the Hospitality Sector
7.4 Tour operators and attraction sector
7.5 Conclusion Conclusion and Suggestions
8.1 Summary of the study 
8.2 Summary of Findings
8.3 Conclusions
8.4 Suggestions
8.5 Contribution to knowledge
8.6 Suggested Further Research

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