Tropical tourist resorts and air-conditioning

  • YEAR
    Bromberek, Zbigniew
    2006 Conference Papers
    Building Case Studies


ABSTRACT: A recent study tour of tropical resorts in several countries in the Pacific region revealed
ambivalent attitudes to air-conditioning amongst resort operators. Whilst conscious of detrimental
implications for the environment, economics and even operational aspects of using mechanical devices
to provide indoor comfort to visitors, many of them claimed to be driven by market forces that require
installation of air-conditioners. This study follows an earlier survey of tourists visiting northern Australia,
which demonstrated significant dissatisfaction with the indoor climate. However, the rationale for a
year–round fully controlled environment was found questionable when, in the hot and humid weather of
the tropical summer, almost half of the surveyed tourists did not perceive those conditions as justifying
the use of air-conditioners. Responses in that visitor survey suggested that tourists’ needs in this
respect were markedly different from those, which tourist resort developers and operators believed to
exist. This difference has been confirmed in the current study, where managers were adamant as to the
need for the air-conditioning despite their units performing reasonably well without it. This paper
presents the findings of the study and attempts to draw conclusions in regard to perceptions and
policies influencing design of the tropical resorts.


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