Name of Module: Business Environment of Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure
The economy today deeply benefits from the tourism industry. It is a branch that sprouts revenue from taxes collected from fees paid by tourists while traveling, and accommodation fees. Apart from this, tourism is important due to its ability to relax and entertain. Undoubtedly, tourism is widely influenced by climate as tourists try to find areas that match their desires and expectations. For instance, tourists will look for warm beaches, climatic conditions that offer certain health benefits, and again find areas that have different climatic conditions compared to their own country. Global warming has far-reaching impacts on tourism as it affects the suitability of tourism regions whereby a once ideal tourist-favored region may become unsuitable. Also, unsuitable areas may become favorable due to the effects of global warming. It is important to address the effects of global warming on the international tourism industry and the various recommendations that could be implemented to ensure that tourism remains a source of revenue.
Europe has witnessed steady growth in the number of travelers in the past year of the 20th century and this growth is still increasing. Although traveling has many benefits ranging from economic, health, and culture, there are many ways that tourism affects the environment through its contribution to the matter of global warming.
In addition, the tourism industry is perceived to be highly susceptible to the changes brought about by the effects of global warming while at the same time playing a part in it. Threats of global warming that the tourism industry faces diversely include impacts that are direct and indirect for example events of the weather that are extreme, concerns facing the safety of tourists and the host population, increased costs when it comes to insurance, damaged attraction sites at destinations and water shortages. Global warming is much likely to cause degradation of tourist destinations making the areas experience low economic opportunities for the host communities. For instance, the melting of the snow caps has huge negative impacts on tourist destinations that rely on their beaches to attract tourism. When melting occurs, sea levels rise resulting in the shorelines that host the beaches to continue diminishing making them less attractive and not conducive for tourists. Again, the rising sea levels pose threats to regions that depend on tourism as beautiful and attractive islands continue to submerge under water thus resulting in lesser tourist attraction sites. Seaside tourism becomes an affected branch of the tourism industry due to global warming and its effects.
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Without a doubt, Africa is a continent well appreciated for its rich population of wildlife animals that many tourists are attracted to. Millions of tourists travel to Africa to witness its diverse tourist attraction sites. However, due to the rising effects of global warming, wildlife sustainability has widely decreased (Crouch, 1994). More drought periods are experienced in this beautiful continent and this has caused a major decrease in the number of wild animals available in the national parks and reserves. Again, heat levels have risen causing an alarm on the amount of radiation experienced in this region. The emission of greenhouse gases into the environment are responsible for the scarce rains and food source deprivation. Moreover, destinations like the Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha famous for their flamingos in Kenya are vastly drying up resulting in the reduction of the wild birds. This makes the area a less attractive tourist site thus causing a low turnout for tourists.
Furthermore, the international tourism industry dependency on a specific type of climate continues to become unstable. Obviously, a tourism sector like winter tourism is largely dependent on snow (Goh, 2012). The loss of snow cover is a key problem that is widely mentioned in climate change and tourism prose. In the upcoming few decades, snow reliability is expected to augment. Ski seasons are expected to reduce and moreover, ski facilities will become less usable causing low revenue returns. There is bound to be fewer tourist numbers due to the loss of snow resorts that are a major source of tourist attraction. Although the remaining resorts would be able to host a fraction of the tourists, their prices are most likely to skyrocket hence contributing to low tourists turn out (Bigano, 2006). Apart from tourism that involves leisure, winter sports tourism that depends on snow will be negatively affected. Residing snow that continues to melt means that winter sports tourism will decrease, and this is obviously due to the fact that there will be less snow in the host regions to allow for such types of sports.
Altogether, the international tourism cannot be left out as a contributor to global warming. According to scientific research, carbon dioxide which is the most copious greenhouse gas has its concentration in the atmosphere reaching extraordinary levels. Of the total amount of greenhouse gases available in the atmosphere in the year 2005, 5% had been contributed by the tourism industry. Of the 5% total, transport contributed to a solid 75% of the emissions (Eugenio-Martín, 2010). Tourists mainly use airplanes and cruise ships to get to the tourist destinations. These mechanical transport mediums are a huge contributor to greenhouse gases that are deposited in the atmosphere. Aside from the planes, there is the use of cars for the airport to accommodation site transfers. Game drives, skydiving, and industries involved in the tourism sector emit more of the greenhouse gases during tourism peak seasons. Furthermore, air transport solely contributes to 50-75% while cars and the railway system together contribute a total of 13%. The use of air transport is considered tourism main contributor to climate change. Its total contribution in global warming extends to 40% of the sum carbon emitted into the atmosphere and up to 75% of radiation forcing.
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Another result of global warming in the international tourism industry is the degradation of the health of the human race. Desertification is bound to cause scarcity of clean water to drink and home use, food shortages, and overpopulation due to migration in search of greener pastures. Game tourism is a sector facing changes as animals migrate from their habitats in search of food. Due to this, the host destinations suffer economically as tourists follow the wild animals to their newly acquired habitats. Moreover, tourism is affected by the fact that there are increased natural disasters such as floods, heat waves, and avalanches caused by climate change (Scott,2004). Change of preferred tourist destinations means that a particular destination has no more use of its manpower and infrastructure hence leaving behind unemployment, poverty, and infrastructure that become unused. Tourism faces the possibility of becoming one of the riskiest national forms of the economy due to natural disasters, insecurity, and unrest.
Whether the effects of global warming fall on the ice caps or the warmer destinations, the end results are all catastrophic. The change in tourist destinations impacts the economies of many regions. Moreover, there is bound to be changes in the tourism pattern due to the direct global warming effects such as the rise in the sea levels and temperatures, melting of the ice caps, and the impact it poses o landscapes (Kulendran, 2012). A study of the climate change by the tourist industry is essential to come up with strategies to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and again adjust depending on the demand by the tourists. The Paris agreement has facilitated an up-to-the-minute momentum and effort is been made to come up with solutions to control the effects and adapt to the transforming conditions of the environment.
Conclusively, the tourism industry although a large source of revenue, needs to come up with adequate measures to ensure that the industry stays afloat. Rising sea levels and desertification may cause a collapse in the industry if unchecked. For instance, the available transport system has to be changed and replaced by more fuel-efficient vehicles and the adoption of hybrids. Again, alternative sources of energy that emit fewer greenhouse gases need to be adopted to save the atmosphere and the environment at large from pollution. Relevant tourism stakeholders need to acknowledge the changing climate action and come up with policies to curb the menace.
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