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How Climate Change Affects Worldwide Tourism

Climate change can affect tourism by changing the environment for the area of tourism; that could be either the area’s weather condition, the amount of plants and animals available in the area, or the behavior of the natives.

This example can be seen after Rhodes, Greece, got hit by a wildfire and Acropolis of the same country got hit by a heavy heat wave of 45°C. Over two thousand tourists who were there had to be evacuated. Italy had a similar problem with heat waves where the tourists had to leave early and the natives were hospitalized. It has also seen the inability of aircrafts to fly during heat waves due to the hot air not being dense enough to safely leave the ground and therefore passengers can’t reach their destinations on time. The Las Vegas airlines had to decrease the number of passengers, baggages, and fuel in order to fly.

Tourism can also be one of the causes of global warming. One tenth of greenhouse gas emissions is caused by tourism. One half of transport emissions is caused by global tourism. And carbon emissions from tourism is suspected to increase by a quarter in 2030. This can be observed in the Caribbean, whose islands are the most visited country and where there has been  a 10% faster sea level rise than any other nation. It is so fast that it shows signs of drastic coral bleaching.

In other parts of the world, the coasts of southeastern Asia that are popular for tourism have been closed to prevent further pollution. The issue for them is the preservation of their natural resources. Safaris in Africa are also impacted after over two thousand animals and many more plants had died. This event caused the Seychelles, islands near east Africa, to create a conservation guideline to survey the African species, not to mention that Africans rely on tourism to make money; Africans are 40% more prone to get jobs in tourism than agriculture in the near future.

The intense heat waves have deeply affected tourism in Europe. In Italy, there was a 10% decrease of tourism on the Mediterranean Sea. Germany also states that their beaches are shrinking causing them to lose their huts and lounges by a half. Many worry about how climate change will affect the 2024 Paris Olympics and people are closely monitoring the weather to ensure that all sports will run properly.

The colder climates are also affected by climate change; some industries may have to adapt with the warmer temperatures in order for them to not lose money. The Alps are famous for their skiing and snowboarding but the decrease of snow over the past fifty years have also seen less tourism, critically affecting the locals who may rely on tourists to run. Canada reacted to this situation by giving away more snow-free activities, which makes them more popular during the summer.

Tourism has been shown to be the most lucrative approach to sustain the economy and the future, so much so that the United Nations is working on ways to make tourism sustainable for both visitors and the environment. Some of these plans to sustain tourism are limiting the amount of tourists, as done by France for protecting their ecosystem, and banning transportations that causes pollution, as done in Amsterdam for cruise ships.

There are other ways to mitigate climate change from tourism. One is to stay in eco-friendly resorts or hotels. Another is to try avoid flying to destinations if possible and to explore and learn more about a specific location’s culture rather than traveling to several places in a short amount of time.

 

Resources:

“Rising Global Temperatures Are Already Affecting the Tourism Industry – Here’s How.”

World Economic Forum, www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/08/temperatures-tourism-climate-impact/. Accessed 20 Nov. 2023.

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