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The Potential Effects Of Climate Change On The Scottish Tourist Industry

S. Harrison, S. Winterbottom, C. Sheppard
Published 1999 · Geography

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Abstract Climate changes currently taking place have impacted upon the pattern of visitor activity and threatened the financial viability of tourism-related enterprises. Previous attempts to evaluate the effects of climate change have been based upon a relatively coarse spatial resolution of climatic variation, which cannot readily be related to the more localised aspects of tourist activity. By combining simple spatial climate models with digital topographic data in a Geographical Information System, more detailed maps of spatial patterns of potential changes in the Scottish climate have been produced which have been related to particular aspects of tourism, such as winter skiing. In Scotland, the indications are that winters are becoming milder and summers drier. Predictions of changes in winter snow cover and summer dryness have been based upon historical analogues. Although lowland areas may experience less frequent snow cover, changes may be relatively less signficant on the highest ground above 1000 m. Upland areas may also see the greatest reduction in dull and damp ‘dreich’ summer days. It is possible that Scottish tourism may reap some localised benefits from ongoing climate changes.

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