HOW DO TOURISTS REACT TO CLIMATE CHANGE?
One of the SOCLIMPACT project´s aims is to analyse the reactions of tourists to the impacts of climate change and the preferences for adaptation policies that can be implemented at European island destinations. To this end, several hypothetical situations were posed to 2528 tourists visiting 10 different islands whereby possible CC impacts were outlined for the island they were visiting (i.e., beach erosion, infectious diseases, forest fires, marine biodiversity loss, heat waves, etc.).
Firstly, tourists had to indicate whether they would keep their plans to stay at the island or find an alternate destination if the impact had occurred, which allows predictions of the effects on tourism arrivals to be made for each island. Secondly, tourists were asked to choose between various policy measures funded through an additional payment per day of stay – the tourists’ choices being an expression of their preferences for attributes/policies. To estimate the results, the ASC-Logit model was run by using the Stata software. To illustrate the results, we designed a set of infographics for each island.
We provide information about the socio-demographic characteristics and travel description of the sample of tourists interviewed on each island. In general, data confirms that tourists are highly averse to risks of infectious disease (72.50% of tourists would change destination). Moreover, they are not willing to visit islands where beaches are affected by algae blooms (61.40%) or where marine wildlife has disappeared to a large extent (58.14%). Consequently, policies related to marine habitat restoration (6.8€/day), water supply (5.2€/day and hour of water restriction), and the prevention of infectious diseases (4€/day) are the most valued by tourists on average, for all islands.
Although climate change impacts are outside the control of tourism practitioners and policy-makers, they can nevertheless utilise this knowledge to improve the predictability of the effect that certain adaptation policies and risk management strategies can have at island destinations, and develop their plans accordingly, thus leading to an increased empowerment of the behavioural theory to raise the effectiveness of climate and environmental policies.
(Access to interactive PDF with all infographics)