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Impacts of climate change in tourism in Europe. PESETA-Tourism study

  • Authors: Bas Amelung, Alvaro Moreno
  • EUR Number: 24114 EN
  • Publication date: 12/2009


This document contains the results of the physical impact assessment for tourism within the context of the PESETA project. Tourism is a multi-billion euro industry that is highly dependent on climate resources. Climate change may provoke shifts in tourist flows, with large economic implications.
The report details the methodology applied and data used for the physical impact assessment for light outdoor activities and for winter sports. For the first category, the focus is on thermal conditions, for the second category on the availability of snow.
The assessment shows that climate change is projected to have significant impacts on the physical resources supporting tourism in Europe. In the mountainous regions, snow reliability is very likely to decrease further, putting ski resorts at lower altitudes at risk. In summer, southern Europe will experience climatic conditions that are less favorable to tourism than the current climate. At the same time, countries in the North, which are the countries of origin of many of the current visitors of the Mediterranean, will enjoy better conditions in summer, as well as a longer season with good weather. In particular in southern Europe, the worsening situation resulting from deteriorating thermal conditions is further aggravated by increasing water shortages. Peak demand from tourism coincides with peak demand from agriculture, residential areas, the energy sector and nature. It also coincides with the summer dip in water supply, which will very likely be deepened by climate change.

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