When reflecting on the last decade of work on climate change and tourism, I can make three observations:
1. The climate is changing faster than predicted
Every year we are witnessing new records in climate extremes. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration maintains several websites to report and visualise climate extremes and anomalies. The Figure on the right, for example, shows a long term trends. Not only are temperatures increasing faster than expected, but so do the rise in sea levels, the intensity of storms, and the retreat of Arctic sea ice.
What does this means for tourism? Very clearly operating in – often vulnerable – locations becomes more costly and riskier. Thus, tourism industry and Government are now forced to get much more involved (and invest!) in adapting to changing conditions. In many cases, adaptation has to respond to negative impacts on assets and attractions. The Great Barrier Reef and recent coral bleaching events is a prominent example.
Read the full blog entry to find out more about the other two observations made as well as suggested action points here.
The blog accompanies a video presentation recorded for the World Travel Market Responsible Tourism Day, 6 November 2017. The panel to which the video contributed was entitled: The Major Environmental Challenges: Carbon & Water RTT, and chaired by Mr Christopher Warren, Crystal Creek Meadows, NSW, Australia.
By Susanne Becken for Griffith Institute for Tourism Insights.