Evaluation of beach hotels capacity to cope with climate variability in Mombasa county, Kenya
Mumini, Ndenge Dzoga
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Climate change has been a worrying issue all over the world. The variability in rainfall, wind, sunshine and temperature has impacted various ecosystems and economic activities. Mombasa County is an important tourist destination due to the availability of outstanding features such as corals, warm beaches, Marine Park, cultural diversity and beach hotel facilities which promote tourism activities. The County is vulnerable from the climate variability and associated effects. An increase in the sea level will result to negative effects on the tourism economy among others in the county. There is need to embrace appropriate measures to cope with climate variability so as to sustain tourism economy in the county. The Government of Kenya has already addressed adaptation measures that focused in conservation of marine resources and their sustainable utilization. However, it did not address the adaptation of beach hotels on climate variability. This research, therefore, was carried out to assess the coping capacity of beach hotels with climate variability in Mombasa County, Kenya. It also assessed the relevance on the awareness of climate variability in embracing proper adaptation measures. The research adopted descriptive research design to analyze and to descri be various adaptation measures in beach hotels. The study used close-ended questionnaires, photographs, and observation instruments to collect data. Fourteen beach hotels were purposely sampled from the total number of 28 beach hotels. The data was then collected from the sampled beach hotels. The collected data was statistically analyzed, discussed and presented in tables and graphs. Results findings showed ineffective adaptation of beach hotels to climate variability. Chi-square results indicated no significant difference on relevant measures to cope with climate variability which include on-shore vegetation cover (X2 = 8.244, P = 0.410), seawall barriers (X2 = 7.467, p = 0.487), and rainwater harvesting (X2 = 1.283, p = 0.864). Accordingly, the beach hotels are vulnerable to climate variability. This threatens the sustenance of the tourism economy. Correlation analysis showed strong relationship on awareness of climate variability and the adaptation measures adopted. There was significant difference between awareness of rainfall variability and rainwater harvesting (r = 0.669, p = 0.009), ocean currents and seawall barriers (r = 0.620, p = 0.018), and ocean currents and on-shore vegetation cover (r = 0.836, p = 0.000). Consequently, awareness on climate variability is crucial in triggering appropriate response to adaptation measures. There is need, therefore, to enhance awareness on climate variability to the beach hotels. Research findings are useful in enhancing adaptation measures, enhancing awareness on climate variability, and sustaining tourism through conservation and protection of coastal marine environment.