Climate Northern Ireland Logo
CC to shift EU tourism north

CC to shift EU tourism north 8 August 2017

Climate change will shift European summer tourism north (via Acclimatise)

By Gracie Pearsall

Tourism in Europe is a major source of economic wealth and jobs. In 2016, travel and tourism contributed 630 billion euros to the European economy. In this lucrative industry climate and weather have a significant influence. When tourists plan a holiday, they usually check weather forecasts and schedule trips when the weather conditions are optimal. A recent report suggests, climate change will alter the attractiveness of certain European tourist destinations, the duration of holidays, and the timing of holidays. Experts project that as Europe becomes warmer and drier. But while southern Europe and the Mediterranean will experience a decrease in tourism, northern Europe and the Baltics will experience a tourism boom.  

The Mediterranean is currently the tourism hotspot of Europe, and the tourism industry contributes 10% of employment and GDP in these countries. This region is already experiencing the effects of climate change. For example, temperatures are rising at a rate higher than the European average, and precipitation is decreasing. As a result, drought and wildfires are occurring more frequently. In the end of June, a wildfire spread through Portugal and Spain, killing 62 people and forcing the evacuation of thousands. A similar incident occurred in Italy in mid–July when a wildfire near Sicily hospitalized several people and forced resorts to close. News of deadly events during the height of tourism season will deter tourists from the Mediterranean. Additionally, rising mean temperatures will make southern Europe and the Mediterranean uncomfortably hot for tourists in the summer.  

Long–term projections estimate that by 2080 southern European and Mediterranean countries will lose up to 0.45% of their annual GDP to climate–based shifts in tourism. For countries like Spain, where tourism makes up a huge portion of their economy, this could mean 5.6 billion euros in lost tourism revenue each year.

Read more via Acclimatise…