Climate Change & Tourism
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the environment today. As a climate-sensitive industry, tourism will continue to be significantly affected by climate change. Whether it is changing weather patterns, melting glaciers, expanding deserts or rising sea levels, the impacts on tourism, people and the places where they live are hard to ignore. The tourism sector can also be considered a contributor to climate change, but can also help with mitigation efforts through travel philanthropy, carbon offsetting programs, and other sustainability initiatives. With tourism contributing to, suffering from and mitigating climate change, the sector must continuously address these issues for its own sustainability.
Solimar works on measuring tourism impacts by climate change to help destinations tackle climate change through tourism by way of mitigation and adaption programs. Solimar’s climate change mitigation programs are designed to help tourism businesses lower their environmental footprints through travel philanthropy programs that raise funds in support of offset programs, and meeting sustainability criteria and standards that ensure destinations and businesses are more environmentally friendly.
Through Solimar’s adaption programs, we design and implement strategic measures that provide income diversification through tourism for communities in areas affected by climate change as well as adaption strategies that assist destinations vulnerable to climate change maintain their tourism revenues.
What to Expect
- Energy Efficiency Programs – Solimar designs and implements efficiency programs to reduce the carbon footprint of tourism businesses and their clients. Strategies available to mitigate climate change include switching to renewable forms of energy, reducing energy use, utilizing locally sourced goods and materials, and minimizing construction footprints.
- Travel Philanthropy Programs – Travel philanthropy programs are an important way to allow conscientious travelers to support climate programs such as tree planting, investing in renewable energy, or funding for important scientific projects tracking the impact of climate change on destinations at risk.
- Carbon Offset Programs - Solimar develops offset programs that allow travelers to mitigate the carbon footprint of their travels through funding for a carbon reduction program.
- Sustainable Tourism Criteria and Standards – Training on sustainable tourism criteria and standards (such as the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria) to help establish sector-wide change in the way tourism businesses reduce their carbon footprint.
- Income Diversification – Income diversification through tourism for communities in areas being affected by climate change. For example, Solimar can diversify income streams through tourism in areas where traditional income sources are being affected by climate change.
- Adaption Strategies – Climate change also has a significant impact on protected areas and the tourism activities within them. Adaption strategies are required to help protected areas maintain their tourism revenues despite the impacts of climate change. For example, the receding glaciers in the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda require new hiking and climbing routes, as well as changes to trail infrastructure, training and equipment due to climate change impacts.