Climate change is having a negative effect on tourism around the world. This puts the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on tourism at risk. You have to appreciate that there are nation’s whose entire economies are dependent on tourism. Thus anything that threatens tourism turns out to be a national security threat in such nations. And for sure, climate change is threatening tourism by among other things:
- Altering ecosystems: thus, for instance, in nations where there used to be lots of wild animals to be viewed by tourists, the numbers have dwindled. In some places, there are actually no wild animals remaining – sounding a death knell to the local tourism industries. The same applies even for marine life. That is where, due to climate change — and the resultant changes in ecosystems — places that used to have rich and attractive marine life now have none. Also at risk are some seaside tourist attractions, that are at risk of sinking/disappearing due to rising sea levels caused by climate change.
- Making the weather less predictable: this makes it hard to move tourists from one point to another. You also have to understand that there are tourists who move around in search of friendlier weather conditions. There are, for instance, tourists who flee from the cold (during the winter) to places that are likely to be warmer. Then, due to climate change, you find that places that used to be warmer during certain months are now colder and vice versa. This messes up tourism.
- Introducing conflicts where previously there was peace: tourism thrives where there is peace. But climate change is causing resource-based conflicts. These scare away tourists, leading to the decline of the tourism industries.
Now as mentioned earlier, there are millions of people who depend wholly on tourism for their livelihood. It can be hard to believe this, if you work in other sectors – such as public service, agriculture, finance, retail… and so on. Like if, for instance, you work in the food industry for a company like PepsiCo. In that case, you have a system where, on a fortnightly basis, you visit the My pepsico login page, to get your paycheck. The said login page, which is part of PepsiCo’s HR portal at Mypepsico.com is the gateway to the site where PepsiCo staff get to access all their work-related resources in one place…
Now being such a (PepsiCo) employee, it can be very hard for you to envision the life of someone else whose livelihood is predicated on tourism earnings. Yet the reality is that there are millions of such people globally. And those are people whose livelihoods are badly threatened by climate change.