Climate change is of great concern for the tourism industry and there are several reasons why, as illustrated in a new report from GreenBiz.
"More than many other industries, tourism relies on a stable climate, whether attracting customers to lavish lakes, bountiful beaches or majestic mountains," notes Mike Hower.
More extreme weather has the ability to wreak havoc on the travel industry.
"Even if the world follows through on its landmark commitments outlined in the Paris Agreement, we've already reached a point of no return. We still may avoid the worst impacts if we get our act together, but significant damage already has been done enough to forecast unpredictable weather into the foreseeable future," Hower reports.
While warming may be okay for some destinations for a while, the overall effects will not be beneficial.
Hower points to California's Lake Tahoe region as an example of how climate change is already having an impact on tourism.
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"A lack of snowfall tied to California's climate change-perpetuated drought led to several years of record-low attendance at ski resorts, which in turn harmed restaurants, hotels and other businesses accustomed to servicing customers drawn by snow sports," he writes.
This has given rise to concerns that the ski industry may not be sustainable in the Sierras as the weather becomes more unpredictable.
Hower also points out that businesses in tropical regions could also suffer.
"While businesses in the tropics might enjoy longer beach seasons warmer temperatures in the mid-latitudes could reduce tourists' motivation to travel there, opting instead for nearby destinations, according to the World Meteorological Organization," Hower points out.
Rising sea levels have a part to play, as well, as does the business of tourism itself.
"Tourism is responsible for about 5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a United Nations report (PDF) on climate change and tourism. A vast majority of these emissions come from getting tourists to and from their destinations," says Hower.
But travel can be done in ways that help rather than hinder destinations.
"Seeing the world first person and meeting people who are different on the surface can shake tourists out of trivial day-to-day concerns. It can build the recognition that climate change doesn't care about man-made borders - we all sink or swim together," says Hower.
Want to learn more on the effects of climate change on travel? Read on here.
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