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Vulnerability of Tourism to Climate Change

PI: Sabine Perch-Nielsen
Institution: ETH Zurich
It is well established that climate is an important factor in tourist destination choice. This implies that climate change may have notable effects on the tourism sector, both directly (e.g. by changing average sunshine, temperature or rain conditions) and indirectly (e.g. by affecting snow cover, sea level, coral reefs, etc.).

However, many other factors have strong impacts on tourism, as for instance economic and population growth. The question is: In which countries will climate change be especially relevant for tourism? With the current research I aim to give an initial answer to this question.

I apply the concept of vulnerability to the tourism sector. I am developing a vulnerability index for the tourism sector. Calculated worldwide on a national level, this index will allow to identify "hot spots", single out factors contributing to vulnerability and guide subsequent research or awareness raising and adaptation efforts. The results will be divided into three dimensions: exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. For the dimension of exposure I aim to process model output data for the use in tourism climate indices.
  • Perch-Nielsen, S. L., The Vulnerability of Beach Tourism to Climate Change - An Index Approach. Climatic Change, DOI 10.1007/s10584-009-9692-1. In press. Abstract. Edit.

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