Cool weather tourism under global warming

This study uniquely compares tourists’ weather preferences, aversions and acceptances with present and projected future summer weather in Northern Scandinavia.

An in situ survey revealed tourist weather preferences (e.g. clear sky, rather warm) and aversions (e.g. frequent rainfall, low visibility). Weather observations and tailored climate projections depict present and future conditions of ‘wet’, ‘cool’, ‘mild’ and ‘warm’ days, and empirical relationships were developed to establish projections for cloudiness and visibility.

The projections indicate that tourists’ preference for rather warm weather will be met by increasing numbers of mild and warm summer season days. However, the number of ‘wet’ days will increase and prospects for enjoying ‘midnight sun’ tend to be slightly reduced.

The study offers a novel approach for better understanding the base of future tourist behaviour under climate change conditions and vital implications for tourism management are identified. Furthermore, advantageous interrelations between different scientific areas for climate change research are illustrated.

The study was funded by the Research Council of Norway (Climate change and impacts in Norway – NORKLIMA). Project manager was Professor Jens Kr. Steen Jacobsen.

The Institute of Transport Economics has been the lead partner in the project ‘ACTOR – Arctic Climate Change, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation’. The other partners were the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research, and NIT Institute for Tourism Research.

The ACTOR project is cross-disciplinary and nationally coordinated and focuses on tourism and outdoor recreation in Norway’s northern areas. Besides studying summer holidaymakers’ and industry representatives’ perceptions of weather conditions, the project has assessed aspects of vulnerability of the tourism industry to climate related risks and its adaptive capacity in the context of present and future climate change.

Cool weather tourism under global warming: Comparing Arctic summer tourists' weather preferences with regional climate statistics and projections. Tourism Management, volume 36, June 2013, Page 567-579


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