TOURISM AND CLIMATE CHANGE

James Morris - Dec 11, 2007
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The Earth’s climate is changing and experts say that the tourism industry has to change as well. Recent report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows the necessity for the travel trade to change because of the global warming. Experts predict that over 20% of all species will be lost. For example the Australian Great Barrier Reef will suffer a lot in the future. People in certain parts of world will have to move because of the flooding and rising sea levels. More famine, heat waves and wildfires will occur. The report predicts that by 2020 between 75 and 250m people in Africa will be exposed to increased water stress. Southern Europe will experience more storms, glacier retreat and serious droughts. The Amazonia will gradually change in savannas and Polar Regions’ ecosystems will also be threatened by the change.

 

For the tourism industry it is necessary to be prepared for the changes. Winter sports businesses are changing their practices even now. The artificial snow-making is quite usual nowadays. Some winter sports tourism players may move to higher altitudes and glaciers. The report also recommends the marketing of new attractions and the involvement of wider groups of stakeholders. Nowadays summer sunshine destinations will be threatened by excessively high temperatures and by drought.

 

According to the scientists it is necessary to slash emissions and prepare for the inevitable change. “Rich countries like Canada have got to move forward and (show) leadership and move first and we"ve done that with a commitment to an absolute reduction of 20 per cent by 2020," Canada"s Environment Minister John Baird said. "What we do need is to get other countries on board, like the United States, like China, like India." Werner Kurz, a senior researcher at the Canadian Forest Service and co-author of the IPCC report said: "The message is coming out loud and clear: The longer we put off mitigation the greater the impacts will be."

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