Here at IT, we're always concerned about the impact that tourism is having on our favorite destinations — so many of which, as New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin noted on this blog, can often be "loved to death." But the Times had an interesting piece exploring an alternative dilemma: how is global warming affecting the tourism industry? Elisabeth Rosenthal writes:
"Imagine a ski resort whose chairlifts are in the lower reaches of mountains without decent snow. Or a scuba club whose reefs succumbed to warmer and stormier seas."
Factor in that many up-and-coming destinations are in less developed countries, where the costs of building green can be prohibitive and tourism sustains much of their economy, and you can see how problems can arise. Luckily, some places are becoming more savvy about how tourism and sustainability are connected: The small island nation of Fiji combined their tourism and environmental ministries this summer. "We have to plan to mitigate and adapt to climate change," their minister told the Times.
But, as always, some destinations also see the hidden benefits to changing temperatures: at Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort in Canada, melting glaciers allow skiiers to venture further up the mountain for good snow, and they've been extending their lifts higher to accommodate them. The golf season in Antalya, Turkey, used to start in March, but it's now warm enough to putt in February. And in Greenland, melting icecaps have provided a boon to the tourism and fishing trades.
Have your travel plans changed on account of climate change? Let us know by commenting below.