International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 173–186 | Cite as

Climate and tourism in the Black Forest during the warm season

Original Paper


Climate, climate change and tourism all interact. Part of the public discussion about climate change focusses on the tourism sector, with direct and indirect impacts being of equally high relevance. Climate and tourism are closely linked. Thus, climate is a very decisive factor in choices both of destination and of type of journey (active holidays, wellness, and city tours) in the tourism sector. However, whether choices about destinations or types of trip will alter with climate change is difficult to predict. Future climates can be simulated and projected, and the tendencies of climate parameters can be estimated using global and regional climate models. In this paper, the focus is on climate change in the mountainous regions of southwest Germany – the Black Forest. The Black Forest is one of the low mountain ranges where both winter and summer tourism are vulnerable to climate change due to its southern location; the strongest climatic changes are expected in areas covering the south and southwest of Germany. Moreover, as the choice of destination is highly dependent on good weather, a climatic assessment for tourism is essential. Thus, the aim of this study was to estimate climatic changes in mountainous regions during summer, especially for tourism and recreation. The assessment method was based on human-biometeorology as well as tourism-climatologic approaches. Regional climate simulations based on the regional climate model REMO were used for tourism-related climatic analyses. Emission scenarios A1B and B1 were considered for the time period 2021 to 2050, compared to the 30-year base period of 1971–2000, particularly for the warm period of the year, defined here as the months of March–November. In this study, we quantified the frequency, but not the means, of climate parameters. The study results show that global and regional warming is reflected in an increase in annual mean air temperature, especially in autumn. Changes in the spring show a slight negative trend, which is in line with the trend of a decrease in physiologically equivalent temperature as well as in thermal comfort conditions. Due to the rising air temperature, heat stress as well as sultry conditions are projected to become more frequent, affecting human health and recreation, especially at lower lying altitudes. The tops of the mountains and higher elevated areas still have the advantage of offering comfortable climatic conditions.


Climate change Tourism potential Regional climate modeling REMO Warm period Mountains Black Forest Southwest Germany 



This research study is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) in the allowance of “Klimazwei” (01LS05019).


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Copyright information

© ISB 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Meteorological InstituteAlbert-Ludwigs-University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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