Essay Example on Tourism and Climate Change

Published: 2019-12-10
Essay Example on Tourism and Climate Change
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Tourism Climate Global warming
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1735 words
15 min read

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Tourism and climate change are inseparable due to their dual relationship in many aspects (Hatler, 2012). When responding to climate change globally, tourism cannot be singled out, as the industry is both a contributor and a victim of climate change as well. Climate change is likely to have a significant impact on physical resources supporting tourism ranging from outdoor winter sports to coastal areas (Hatler, 2012). It is clear that tourism activities are responsible for the emission of 4% of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere. Thus, tourism contributes to approximately 4.5% of global warming. On the contrary, regions depending on tourism are under threat, as the rise of sea levels will submerge islands and coastal regions (Hatler, 2012).Sustainable tourism is the solution to climate change that is facing the globe. It should be done through maximizing the social and economic benefits of the local communities by the provision of wages to the people operational in the business as well as the larger community (Hatler, 2012). Moreover, addressing critical environmental issues such as carbon emissions, water, and waste management is likely to solve these problems (Hatler, 2012). Having looked at the possible solutions regarding the stated challenges, it is important to determine if the environmental specialists and tourism industry practitioners are doing something to ensure sustainability (Hatler, 2012). If not, are there alternatives that should be embraced to solve the problem? The study is conducted to determine why the variety of solutions to the problem of climate change and tourism has not been fully implemented (Hatler, 2012). Important concepts in the study include tourism and climate change. Tourism is simply the activity of traveling from one place to another to enjoy oneself. On the other hand, climate change refers to the long-term increase in temperature of a given place (Hatler, 2012). The study is based on vulnerability as a theoretical concept to explain the relationship between climate change and tourism. It demonstrates the manner in which the two influences one another negatively (Hatler, 2012). The research was based on literature publications and surveys as an appropriate methodology to facilitate the research (Hatler, 2012).

Theoretical Background

Impact of Global Warming on Tourism

Concerning an article by Auckland University, climate change is not necessarily a determinant of tourism but comprises important aspects in both personal experiences of the tourists as well as the financial conditions of tourism operators (Auckland University, 2014). There are various places across the world that has potential of handling tourism. However, the limits are set by climatic changes that make these places dangerous for tourism. Therefore, people in the tourism sector will be reluctant to promote such places, as they will make losses in the business (Auckland University, 2014). Similarly, tourists who choose to visit such places are likely to face inconveniences such as lack of transport and extreme variations in temperature. Weather variations such as less snowy winters and rainy summers can result in significant losses hence an indication that climate has a direct influence on tourism (Auckland University, 2014). It is, therefore, important to assess climate data as an approach to ensure that climatic challenges that affect tourism are neutralized to some point.

Presentation of climatic data must be in the form that relates to the response of an individual on weather and climatic conditions (Auckland University, 2014). It, therefore, indicates that data must give an impression of the probability of occurrence of the climate depending on the event to take place. Data should put into account the fact that people respond to incorporate effects of weather elements such as thermal and physical (Auckland University, 2014). The data must be represented in a form that can be interpreted easily by the user to avoid inconveniences. People mostly rely on information from metrological stations, which may not include recreational facilities attended by tourists (Auckland University, 2014).

How tourism cause Climate Change

According to an article by Metrological Association, the accommodation sector on tourism industry accounts for a reasonable percentage of emissions in the atmosphere (Metrological Association, 2008). It involves heating, air conditioning from the bars and restaurants as well as swimming pools. Emissions vary according to the size of accommodation and type of establishments that are in place. Beach tourism also remains dominant in the industry. Thus, it constitutes the key component of the economy of most developing countries (Metrological Association, 2008). However, these places are vulnerable to consequences associated directly to indirectly with tourism. For instance, water shortages and contamination, coastal erosion and damage to infrastructure. The vulnerability is counteracted with low adaptive capacity particularly in the coastal areas for developing countries (Metrological Association, 2008). It is, therefore, significant to take into account the seasonality of beach tourism has it has direct links with climate changes. It is because, during the high season of tourists, the tourist destinations always experience water shortages and general environmental issues. The impacts of global warming might vary significantly in various coastal regions bringing opportunities as well (Metrological Association, 2008).

There are reasonable variations in emissions across tourism portions and individual trips. Trips by Coach or rails account for approximately 30% of all the trips undertaken by tourists (Metrological Association, 2008). The contribution of tourism to climate change is estimated to grow considerably over the coming years. There are anticipated pathways due to growth rates of tourists that are projected to increase rapidly over the coming years (Metrological Association, 2008). Projections maintain that global tourism is going to increase hence leading to a general increase in emission of carbon dioxide that will bring negative impacts on the climate globally. It is clear that energy emission because of tourism activities is the main cause of climate change. Mitigation in the Tourism sector is achievable through reducing the use of energy such as changing of travel behaviours and putting in place carbon offsetting strategies (Metrological Association, 2008).

Carbon Neutral Policy

According to Hatler (2012), reduction of atmospheric carbon emission emerges as the main objectives of most tourism agencies and the sector as a whole. The Carbon Neutral Policy refers to a program that aims at achieving a net zero carbon footprint. This is possible through balancing a measured amount of the amount of carbon released with the equivalent amount of the sequestered or offset. In addition, it may involve buying the adequate carbon credits with an aim of making the differences. It is important to note that the terms Net Zero Emissions and the carbon Neutrality can be used interchangeably (Schneider et al. 2010). According to the UNFCCC, the terms did not exists back in 1992 when the UN Convention on Climate Change was subjected to consensus. The most recent developments reaffirm this particular school of thought. In 2010, different members agreed the objective of not allowing global temperatures to go beyond 2o Celsius higher than the pre-industrial levels. Fundamentally, this would ensure that the total global emissions reaches easily and then decrease to the Net Zero 2050 (Schneider et al. 2010).

Framework for Tourisms response to Climate Change

Mitigation of the Carbon Emissions created by Tourism

The climate change and its impacts on tourism are real. On a wider note, the changes related to technological, economic and social changes that create suitable platforms for the emissions of the reduction (Hamilton, Maddison, and Tol, 2005). In the global tourism sector, the process towards mitigation can be achieved through the technological development and the market techniques (Moreno, 2010). However, a significant reduction in the GHG emissions can be greatly accomplished through behavioural change, based on the fact that the human being participation on climate change has recently increased. Such increase also contributes to the emission of equivalent amounts of the GHGs the atmosphere receives (Hamilton, Maddison, and Tol, 2005). Therefore, it is important to reduce the long-haul emissions while not adversely impacting tourism's role in sustainable development.

Tourism sectors adaptation to Climate Change

The framework for tourism response to climate change involves also adaptation and mitigation. Notably, the adaptation and mitigation form an important element of climate change debate. Ideally, these two terms and processes can be complimentary, substitutable or independent from each other. On the complementary perspective, the adaptation to climate change lowers its costs and thereby reduces the need for mitigating the effects of climate change. The IPCC reports indicate that the climatic changes and the related factors are already causing challenges regarding the social and economic growth global nations, mostly the developing ones, with the temperature increases of less than 1 degree Celsius. It is projected that the undebated climate change would increase the risks and costs significantly and therefore both the mitigation and adaptation strategies are needed urgently so as to limit the effects of the climate change and the capability to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Notably, the businesses, destinations, and various tourism companies should aim at addressing seek to address mitigation and adaptation effectively.


According to an article by Indian University, a three-point strategy was adopted to gather facts (University, 2012). Literature such was performed on a Google. Research articles in the topics were of global warming, change in climate and tourism is consulted and finally, published information of scientific organizations as well as Nongovernmental organizations dealing with climatic changes is put under study (University, 2012). Most of the publications in this particular category seem to be related to emissions from hotel industries and the impact of tourism along coastal beaches. Some of the studies maintained that tourist industries must embrace sustainable tourism such as using alternative machines in the hotels, as the main course of global warming is hotels and restaurants (University, 2012). Additionally, some research sources suggested that current transport system in the tourism sector was also a major contributor to global warming and general climate change hence the need to devise other sustainable transport systems (University, 2012).

Social Responsibility

The category represents the response to climate changes regarding positive actions (University, 2012). The articles put emphasis on the need for organizations and the society to work towards sustainability in the industry (University, 2012). The governments should work on policies to put in place private adaptations. Some articles also highlighted some hotels and what they have been doing to reduce the emissions hence putting adaptation as the core value of research (University, 2012).

Measurement and Modelling

Reduction of the carbon footprint, mitigation of emissions and ensuring carbon neutrality were the major concepts discussed in the various publications (University...

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