Bromberek, Zbigniew. "An Argument against Air Conditioning Use in Tropical Resorts," in ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 1, issue 3 (2007).
Conflicting and somewhat controversial views on using air-conditioning in tropical tourist resorts were revealed during a recent study tour of several countries in the Pacific region. Although conscious of detrimental implications for the environment, economics and even operational aspects of the use of mechanical devices to provide indoor comfort to visitors, many resort managers claimed market pressure has been the driving force behind the installation of air-conditioners within their facilities. This study follows an earlier survey of tourists visiting northern Australia, which demonstrated significant dissatisfaction with the indoor climate. The rationale for a year-round, fully controlled environment was found questionable when, in the hot and humid weather of the tropical summer, nearly half of the surveyed tourists did not perceive those conditions as justifying the use of air-conditioners. Responses collected through the visitor survey proposed that tourist resort developers and operators’ understanding of tourists’ needs in this respect was flawed. This difference in opinion has been confirmed in the current study, where managers were adamant as to the need for air-conditioning despite their units being capable of performing reasonably well without it. This paper presents the findings of the study and attempts to draw conclusions in regard to the perceptions and policies influencing design of tropical resorts.