An analysis of factors affecting tourists’ accounts of weather in South Africa

Abstract

There is consensus within tourism research that tourists are sensitive to weather. The climate of a destination is believed to influence the selection of a destination, the timing of the visit and the enjoyment of the destination. The climatic suitability of locations for tourism is often evaluated using indices of climatic data, including the Tourism Climatic Index and the Climate Index for Tourism. The output of these indices is a measure of suitability based on the climatic conditions of the destination alone. This is valuable in facilitating baseline comparisons between destinations, but ignores the role of the country of origin of tourists, the anticipated climatic conditions and the infrastructure in tourist accommodation establishments and attractions. We explore the influence of these factors on the sensitivity of tourists to the climate of a destination, using commentary on climatic factors in TripAdvisor reviews for a selection of 19 locations in South Africa. An improved understanding of the climatic sensitivity of specific tourist groups and climatic challenges in tourist accommodation establishments, facilitates improved adaptation to climate change threats to the tourist sector.

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Correspondence to Jennifer Fitchett.

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Fitchett, J., Hoogendoorn, G. An analysis of factors affecting tourists’ accounts of weather in South Africa. Int J Biometeorol 62, 2161–2172 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-018-1617-0

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Keywords

  • Climate sensitivity
  • Climatic suitability
  • Accommodation
  • Tourism
  • TripAdvisor