Wildfire Disaster Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery in Coastal Tourist Destinations: the case of Wye River, Australia

From a regional resilience perspective, what were the outcomes of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery strategies in place for the 2015 Wye River wildfires? How does tourism help shape these?

Wye River

This research project explores the effects of regional tourism development on local resilience to natural hazards. It seeks to understand the pattern of tourism development experienced by Wye River (Great Ocean Road) and its: influence on the local integration of state and nation-wide resilience-building measures; and pressure on local social-ecological systems.

Mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery plans and systems are essential to the management of the risks to lives, property, and the stability of tourism development in this area. Through the collection of social-media data, policy analysis, government reports and statistics as well as direct observation and semi-structured interviews, qualitative data analysis is enabling a timeline-based assessment of preparedness, response and recovery for the 2015 Wye River - Separation Creek wildfire. Consideration of the wildfire's impacts upon local development of tourism is expected to reveal the importance of preparedness and response activities, highlighting lessons and pitfalls that could be relevant to other destinations with similar characteristics.

Overall, this project aims to advance knowledge in the field of resilience in the context of tourism development, offering a perspective that integrates urban and regional development and urban and regional resilience. It is expected to contribute to greater understanding of the dynamics associated with the implementation of resilience and sustainability in regional areas by integrating knowledge in tourism development, disaster risk reduction, resilience, urban planning, teleconnectedness, ecological footprint, social structures, social-ecological adaptive systems, and global-local studies.

Image credits

“Wye River Settlement in the Recovery Stage” by Leonardo Nogueira de Moraes is licensed under CC BY 4.0

NOGUEIRA DE MORAES, Leonardo (2019): Wye River Settlement in the Recovery Stage. University of Melbourne. Figure. Available at https://doi.org/10.26188/5d52539293af5

Project details

Major Sponsor

Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning

Research Partners

Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC

Project Team

Dr Leonardo Nogueira de Moraes
Prof Alan March


Dr Leonardo Nogueira de Moraes