Climate Change and Tourism Policy in OECD Countries

image of Climate Change and Tourism Policy in OECD Countries

Undertaken jointly with United Nations Environment Programme, the report analyses policies and issues related to climate change adaptation and mitigation in the tourism sector. It provides policy recommendations, with the objective to identify priority areas to be included in a framework for action in the area of climate change and tourism.  A review of the state of policy-making on this important issue clearly indicates that greater efforts could be made by countries to understand the likely impacts of climate change on tourism; there is a low awareness of the tourism sector's climate change mitigation and adaptation needs; and that current policy, with few exceptions, is inadequate to the scale of the challenge, both on mitigation and adaptation.




Adaptation is relevant to deal with climate change related impacts that are unavoidable. The level of climate change to which stakeholders may have to adapt, however, depend to a great extent on emission pathways. Policy focusing on adaptation must generally consider more complex interrelationships than policy focusing on mitigation, i.e. dynamic physical change occurring in the short to long-term future, with largely unknown response patterns by tourists. Consequently, developing adaptation policy means dealing with greater uncertainty. Some policy developments, although not specifically designed to address climate change, may nevertheless play a part in this adaptation. A case in point is the recent EU policy to address seasonality, encouraging countries to spread out their holiday periods and thereby distribute tourists more evenly, which could also help overcome problems related to changing weather parameters.


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