The Stern Report (2006) on the Economics of Climate Change made some landmark observations as to the detrimental impact of the global warming upon the tourist economy. While drawing attention to the potential damage caused by unmitigated climate change it stated that,
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The post industrial era presents compelling evidence that the global climate is in a state of flux and will continue to fluctuate sometimes unpredictably and abnormally over the coming decades of the 21st century (United Nations World Tourism Organization 2003). Statistics show that the global mean temperature increased over 0.76C between 1850-1899 and 2001-2005(IPCC 2007) and this has been attributed to the constantly increasing greenhouse emissions which are said to cause adverse amounts of poisonous concentrations in the atmosphere. (Clarkson, R. 2002:Pearce, D. W. 2006:Pielke, R. A., Jr. 2005)
The adverse impact of climatic change is not just restricted to our lifestyles and social well being but it also stands as a threat to economies relying solely upon tourism as an industry (Yohe et al 2007). Indeed the United Kingdoms Government Policy is increasingly taking into account the fact that in the decades ahead climatic change will become a focal issue for tourism development and management (Gossling, S. & Hall, and C.M. 2006). This is true to a large extent for the South West regions of Britain where the tourism industry has recently come to be considered as a highly climate sensitive economic sector similar to the food and transport industry. (Wilbanks et al 2007).
The South West is a particular example of the how regional manifestations of climate change are becoming highly relevant for tourism destinations and tourists alike whereas allegedly the needful response has been said to be missing from the tourism managers of the region (Amelung et al 2008). This is largely a misconception as the most of the action in South West has been through the NGO's and the private sector which may have received little popularity due to the lack of funding and media coverage but it has laid a firm basis for political action. (Amelung et al 2008;Fankhauser, S. 2005:Hope, C. W. 2006)
Popular South West tourist destinations have included the likes of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, and Gloucestershire (Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean), which have become attractions of major international and national importance. CEC (2005). The importance of this region as a popular tourist destination is continuously increasing with its recognisable, major holiday seaside resorts including Bournemouth/Poole, New quay, Torbay, and Sidmouth ( Peeters, P. 2007).Currently the region relies on smaller scale tourism attractions and is looking forward to hosting the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics (particularly in the Weymouth Area which will be hosting the "regattas".) (Peeters, P. 2007).
The key challenges however faced by the South West tourism are not just overseas competition and sustainable development of the industry but the potential impacts of climate change, and how best to respond to the opportunities and challenges presented. (Peeters, P. 2007). On the face of it Global Warming is all set to provide the region with longer, reliable summers and keeping the local tourism business from being lost to sunnier destinations like the Mediterranean (Peeters, P. 2007).
In the long run however the tourism industry and its
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