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Impacts Of Climate Change On Tourism And Marine Recreation

T. Coles
Published 2020 · Geography

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Tourism and marine recreation form a major component of the UK visitor economy, with the tourism sector alone worth £127 billion and accounting for 3.1 million jobs in 2017. Much of this activity takes place in coastal resorts and natural settings. While the nature and value of such activity and settings have been extensively researched, far less is known about the magnitude of possible impacts of climate change on them and the likely adaptations that will be necessary. Many likely effects recognised in 2013 remain broadly evident but have not been revisited in light of subsequent advances in climate science. The body of knowledge on ‘what is happening’ and ‘what may happen’ has not grown, and together this suggests a relative decline in the evidence base relating to tourism and marine recreation. Three knowledge gaps identified in 2013 (visitor preferences for conditions, vulnerability of coastal destinations, and the magnitude and timing of climate change impacts) have not been satisfactorily addressed in the interim. In 2019, the key challenges and emerging issues are more broadly based, namely: to move beyond the 2013 picture, in particular to consider the potential and effectiveness of current and planned approaches to adaptation; to appraise both vulnerabilities and opportunities for business more systematically; and to improve analytical precision by considering the effects of climate change on different types of tourism and marine recreation and the attendant combinations of activities, stakeholders and geographies at the local (i.e. destination) level.
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