LES CHANGEMENTS CLIMATIQUES ENTRE REALITE ET LEURRE : LEURS REPRESENTATIONS SOCIALES AUPRES DES ACTEURS TOURISTIQUES EN STATION DE SPORTS D’HIVER
1 Universite d’Avignon, France
ABSTRACT: – A great number of authors modeled the phenomenon of anthropogenic global warming yet few of them identified society’s reaction to those models. This paper identifies the social representations of climate change among territorialized tourism actors in the Eastern Pyrenees ski resorts. Analyzing the links between climate change and the ski industry is highly relevant as natural snow is considerably sensitive to climate change. The case study concerns the region of Cerdagne-Capcir located in the French département of Pyrénées-Orientales. For two consecutive winter seasons, 2007/2008 and 2008/2009, we carried out a survey among skiers, local tourism decision-makers, administratives and tourism professionals in nine ski resorts. A questionnaire was distributed to skiers while a face-to-face interview was conducted with the other tourism actors cited above. The quantitative data regarding the skiers’ social representations was analyzed thru the prototypical and categorical analysis, a method developed by P. Verges, a French social psychologist. The qualitative data resulting from the face-to-face interviews led to the identification of seven categories of attitudes towards climate change in the decision-making process: immutability, irealistic optimism, technocracy, scepticism, belief in a conspiracy theory, realism and catastrophism. Climate change social representations differ at the level of both the skiers’ nationalities (French / Spanish) and the tourism actors categories (offer – local decision-makers, administratives and tourism professionals / demand – the skiers).
Key-Words : climate change, ski resorts, social representations, Pyrenees, tourism.
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