Coastal and marine environments are among the most popular areas for outdoor recreation and tourism. Coastal areas have also been identified as the most vulnerable to climate change, for example as a result of extreme events and sea-level rise. It will be increasingly important for coastal tourism destination managers to understand their vulnerability to climatic changes and to devise appropriate adaptation. This paper presents a five-step vulnerability assessment methodology for tourism in coastal areas. The five steps include (1) system analysis, (2) identification of activity and hazard sub-systems, (3) vulnerability assessments for the different sub-systems at risk, (4) integration for the destination as a whole and scenario analysis and (5) communication. The framework is illustrated by an example of how it might be applied to Fiji. The paper concludes that a consistent methodology, like the one proposed, will facilitate vulnerability assessments in a range of coastal destinations, allow comparison to be made of vulnerabilities across different situations, provide a basis for more research into specific adaptation measures and assist destinations to develop a more sustainable tourism industry.