From Fiji to Kenya, Travel Hot Spots Brace for Global Warming
Travel Blog • Joanna Kakissis • 11.01.07 | 2:17 PM ET
A ski resort without snow. A scuba club whose coral reefs have succumbed to warmer and stormier seas. A water-guzzling golf resort in a desertifying area. Faced with global warming, the tourism industry must adapt to scenarios like these around the world or risk losing tourists, Elisabeth Rosenthal writes in The New York Times.
“The entire tourism product will be affected—every destination has a climate-related component,” said Geoffrey Lipman, assistant secretary general of the UN World Tourism Organization, from a conference in Davos, Switzerland, on the issue earlier this month. “Some people are going to find that they had tourism before and don’t now. In the Canadian Rockies it may be the reverse.”
Most at risk are developing nations in Africa and the Pacific that rely heavily on income from tourism. One of those countries, Fiji, has combined its ministires of the environment and tourism to plan for the changes ahead.
Remarked one Fiji official: “Tourism is the vehicle for poverty alleviation in Fiji—that’s how important it has become. Without it, our economy would collapse. So we have to plan to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”