Lured by hot, sunny beaches or pristine, snow-topped mountains, tourists are drawn to the climate of certain resorts. But will global warming drive them to new tourist hotspots?
Apparently not. A shift in weather will be just a minor bother for most destinations compared with the massive impact of economic development and population growth, according to a computer model.
Jacqueline Hamilton at the University of Hamburg in Germany and her colleagues modelled the numbers of tourists visiting 207 countries in 2025. Their analysis included the effects of expected population growth and economic development,and local climate changes predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The model did not include changing sea levels.
By far the largest changes involved developing nations becoming richer – and therefore more desirable to visit. Tourism in the Maldives and Sri Lanka, for example, could increase by 600 per cent in the 30 years from 1995 to 2025 due to economic and population growth alone.
The biggest winners from a 1 °C rise in global temperature were “cold” countries such as the Russian Federation and Canada. However, global warming is only expected to bring 30 per cent more tourists to these countries in 2025
By Anna Gosline