Some of the best and most desired destinations by travellers
will feel the consequences of climate change within the next
few decades, a United Nations report has warned.
The destinations to bear the brunt of the changing weather
include hotspots in Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean,
Australia and New Zealand.
In fact, this report has declared that countries - like the
Maldives - are the most vulnerable to such changes in many
aspects as they have 'poor' information about the implications
of climate change due to their high dependency on tourism.
This report - authored by Dr Murray Simpson from Oxford University's
Centre for the Environment - has also warned that the tourism
sector will face increased operating costs with the probable
higher frequency of extreme weather events and the cost of
clearing up after them.
"Tourism is both a victim and a contributor to climate change.
One of the greatest concerns is that some of the most acute
impacts - environmental and socio-economic - are being experienced
in developing countries and small island developing states,
affecting the livelihoods of already impoverished communities"
- Simpson said.
"We have a responsibility to assist in building capacity
in these destinations to meet the threats and opportunities
presented by climate change" - he added.
Not only does the study detail the environmental, social
and economic impacts of climate change in some of the world's
most popular holiday destinations, it also offers advice on
ways that destinations can adapt.
The report has suggested that ski resorts can offer 'four
season' attractions which do not rely on snow. It also
recommended that new hotel developments should be planned
away from the coast in order to avoid damage due to coastal
erosion. It also advised a greater reliance on water recycling
"The tourism sector, through its major contribution to global
development, can influence other sectors by sending important
signals to governments, industries and the public, that climate
mitigation and adaptation measures are not only vital for
our future, but also make economic sense today" - said Stefanos
Fotiou, head of UNEP's tourism and environment programme.