Essay Example - Thriving in Wildfires: A Rough Ride to the Future for California's Tourism

Published: 2024-01-30
Essay Example - Thriving in Wildfires: A Rough Ride to the Future for California's Tourism
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Economics Tourism Disaster
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1162 words
10 min read


Over the last decade, California has been facing devastating wildfires that significantly undermine its tourism industry (Armijo, 2018). Wildfire disasters such as the 2018 Camp Fire disaster ravage tourism destinations, which are vital parts of California's economy (Armijo, 2018). However, the tourism destinations in the state have remained sustainable and resilient after the disasters. With the persistent climate change, California is vulnerable to future wildfires, which could weaken or collapse its tourism industry (Bauman et al., 2020). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the relationship between disaster management procedures and tourism destination responses. The paper will address how disaster management decision-making influences how tourism destinations respond to natural disasters, how disaster management procedures are managed suitably, and the impact of the practices on the resilience and sustainability of tourism destinations in the face of wildfire disasters.

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Case Study Methodology

This paper will deploy a single case study since the researcher will be focusing on a single aspect attached to the real world. The researcher will explore the phenomenon of disaster management approaches and a tourism destination's resilience over a wildfire disaster. The case study will be based on Sonoma and Napa Counties of California, which have faced several wildfires over the recent devastating wineries that form the region's major tourist destinations (Armijo, 2018). The tourism destinations have remained sustainable post the disasters, making them a suitable selection for the study. The researcher understands that knowledge derived from the investigation is not absolute, although it is relative and it will utilize empirical evidence to generate credible suggestions. The case study methodology applied conforms with the aim of qualitative research, as Basurto-Cedeno & Pennington-Gray (2018) describe that qualitative research helps to achieve in-depth knowledge of how people perceive their experience. A semi-structured interview method will be employed to determine the connection between disaster management processes and tourism destination resilience. This qualitative methodological approach will be employed to provide the researcher with a wider representation of the disaster by interpreting first-hand experiences and underlining the associated external communication (Yin, 2014). The aim of applying the survey method independently is that it will allow the researcher to beseech the impacts of the disaster and the disaster management responses more accurately. This methodology aims to discourse the urge for further qualitative research to expand the academic knowledge of resilience.

Case Study Design and Use

The interviews will be conducted through a person-to-person interview approach with the selected informants to the study. Person-to-person interviews are preferred for the case study research methodology because they allow the researcher and the respondents to share more intimate encounters for an in-depth conversation, which will help the researcher uncover the phenomenon of resilience through disasters through adequate disaster management response procedures in the tourism industry (Basias & Pollalis, 2018). The researcher holds adequate experience in conducting interviews, both with professionals and students; thus, they can easily project professionalism in the exercise, building confidence between them and the respondents, and allowing the informants to feel considerably comfortable during the interview session, which will prompt open, profound dialogue. With the vast experience from previous studies, the researcher will be able to coordinate specifically proven skills and sensibilities in the interviews, which will help achieve complete and thorough interviews.

The chosen survey platform will involve online interviewing using the Zoom Meeting channel, owing to the current measures to ensure optimal adherence to COVID-19 control measures, including keeping social distancing and staying at home, which will improve the comfort of the respondents while engaging in the interview (Bauman et al., 2020). The online platform will also enable the researcher to record and transcribe the entire interview easily. This will be helpful for the researcher who needs to completely focus on the dialogue and avoid distractions encountered when note-taking, which will not only lead them to lose some pertinent information but may also undermine their control over the conversation.

Your Event

The researcher will employ a topical or interview guide approach. This kind of approach is commonly used in qualitative studies and includes a series of topics or questions that can or cannot be provided to the respondents prior to the interview (Lai & Roccu, 2019). However, in this scenario, the questions shall be provided to the informants one week before the interview's schedule. Interviews will involve 15 respondents which will be a purposive sampling method to allow the researcher to appropriately identify the population that can provide comprehensive information could the state of resilience in tourism destinations. Informants will be chosen on their experience in the tourism industry and their leadership roles in their organization to help provide in-depth responses on the disaster management response procedures they implement, how they are derived, the challenges involved, and how they navigate to deliver resilient and sustainable tourism destinations. The approach of choosing the sample will also consider the need to hear from different types of stakeholders, whose diverse views are crucial since the researcher understands that collecting data to understand resilience demands multiple actors and layers of tourism. The interviews will be semi-structured, although they will be flexible to accommodate the respondents' aims and interests (Mohajan, 2018).


Conducting research is usually the cornerstone when writing a thesis, dissertation, or report. However, the overall quality and success of a study depend on the choice of a research methodology. It is, therefore, indispensable to identify the preliminary part of the research correctly. Identifying the right research methodology begins with understanding the correct research method that would effectively collect data. A case study research methodology helps in the exploratory and descriptive analysis of people, events, periods, institutions, policies, or events that are researched holistically through one or multiple methods to examine the causes of existing principles. The selected case study method will allow the researcher to accomplish an in-depth understanding of how people perceive their experiences. This will supply the researcher with a bigger picture of the impacts of wildfire disasters on tourism destinations, disaster management responses, stakeholder communication, and experiences in remaining resilient in the most accurate way. Using semi-structured interviews in a case study methodology will mitigate the need for further qualitative research to expand on the academic perception of resilience.


Armijo, P. (2018, November 19). Study: Short-lived economic hit from wildfires. Durango Herald.

Basias, N., & Pollalis, Y. (2018). Quantitative and qualitative research in business & technology: Justifying a suitable research methodology. Review of Integrative Business and Economics Research, 7, 91-105.

Bauman, M. J., Yuan, J., & Williams, H. A. (2020). Developing a measure for assessing tourists; empathy towards natural disasters in the context of wine tourism and the 2017 California wildfires. Current Issues in Tourism, 23(19), 2476-2491.

Lai, D., & Roccu, R. (2019). Case study research and critical IR: The case for the extended case methodology. International Relations, 33(1), 67-87.

Mohajan, H. K. (2018). Qualitative research methodology in social sciences and related subjects. Journal of Economic Development, Environment, and People, 7(1), 23-48.

Yin, R. K. (2014). Case study research: Design and methods (5th ed.). Sage.

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