Climate change will bring falling tourism revenues to leading destinations over the next two decades.
Research by Germany’s Deutsche Bank suggests southern Spain, Portugal, north Africa, Greece, India, South Africa, Thailand, Australasia and the Caribbean will lose out by 2030, with Turkey, Morocco and Australia the biggest losers.
Only northern Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Canada and New Zealand will benefit from increased tourism as a result of climate change.
Deutsche Bank economist Philipp Ehmer, who presented the research at ITB in Berlin, said: “Climate change will significantly reduce the tourism potential in many regions. There will be more losers than winners. Many regions will experience a cut in tourism revenue.”
Investment in the affected regions would be hit, added Ehmer: “Investors in tourism must take account of climate changes.”
In assessing the impact, Ehmer looked at rising temperatures and water shortages, likely regulations, shifting tourism patterns and the use of technology. The effects would not be uniform, he said.
“Rising temperatures in southern Spain will have a major impact. The Balearic Islands will be less affected and tourism on the Atlantic coast of Spain could grow. But the gains may not compensate for the losses,” said Ehmer.
In northern Europe, warming could extend tourism to Germany’s North Sea and Baltic coasts, and southern France would win out for a time as southern Spain, Portugal, Greece and southern Italy become unbearable in summer.
City trips would be less affected since visitors could travel outside the hottest periods, Ehmer added.
He acknowledged tourism had continued growing through previous emergencies and recovered from disasters such as the Indian Ocean tsunami. But he said: “Climate change is different. The other threats were limited in time and their effects short lived. Climate change is not temporary. It will affect the conditions for tourism everywhere and for the long term.”