Uncertainties in Predicting Tourist Flows Under Scenarios of Climate Change
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Tourism is largely dependent on climatic and natural resources. For example, “warmer'' climates generally constitute preferred environments for recreation and leisure, and natural resources such as fresh water, biodiversity, beaches or landscapes are essential preconditions for tourism. Global environmental change threatens these foundations of tourism through climate change, modifications of global biogeochemical cycles, land alteration, the loss of non-renewable resources, unsustainable use of renewable resources and loss of biodiversity (Gössling and Hall, 2005). This has raised concerns that tourist flows will change to the advantage or disadvantage of destinations, which is of major concern to local and national economies, as tourism is one of the largest economic sectors of the world, and of great importance for many destinations. In consequence, an increasing number of publications have sought to analyse travel flows in relation to climatic and socio-economic parameters (e.g. Lise and Tol, 2001; Maddison, 2001; Christ et al., 2003; Hamilton et al., 2003; Hamilton and Tol, 2004). The ultimate goal has been to develop scenarios for future travel flows, possibly including “most at risk destinations'', both in economic and in environmental terms. Such scenarios are meant to help the tourist industry in planning future operations, and they are of importance in developing plans for adaptation.
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