The Tourism Industry in Australia Is Under Threat
Once, Australia had one of the most developed tourism industry. Now, climate change has significantly affected the economic and touristic industry. If you want to go to a pristine beach in Australia to see the Great Barrier Reef, you may be disappointed. Unfortunately, the five most famous natural tourist pulls are under severe threat because of climate change effects.
Scientists have developed a new report to reveal the impact of global warming on Australia’s greatest beauties. The Australian market is dominated by nature tourism. International and local travelers come to have an incredible traveling experience, seeing the Great Barrier Reef. However, the independent climate organization Climate Council has released the report “Icons at Risk: Climate Change Threatening Australian Tourism”.
The report refers to the national parks, the Great Barrier Reef, wildlife and Australia’s beaches, indicating that may be damaged because of heatwaves. Increased temperatures and heatwaves due to global warming can severely damage these touristic attractions. Severe coral bleaching, rising sea levels, and coastal flowing had already affected the landscapes.
The iconic beaches of Australia are known to be the greatest tourist attractions of the country. The sea level rise currently threatens the beautiful beaches. Cities like Adelaide, Fremantle, Darwin, Cairns, Hobart, Melbourne, and Sidney are estimated to show at least a 100-fold increase when it comes to the frequency of coastal flooding events.
Climate change affects the greatest tourist attractions in Australia
The affected beaches could prevent tourists from visiting areas such as Victoria’s Surf Coast, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, and Sydney’s Northern Beaches. A survey indicates that 17-23% of the tourists would switch destinations because of the beach conditions. Hence, this could lead to an estimated loss of $20-56 million every year for the first two areas mentioned alone.
Another dramatic impact of climate change concerns the distribution of deadly jellyfish. The Climate Council indicates that the deadly jellyfish spread along the coast of Queensland. Hence, tourists will definitely want to avoid those beaches since they may be in great danger. Scientists expect the Red Centre to be affected, too.
This represents the outback area of Central Australia centered on the town of Alice Springs and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Specialists’ predictions show that this area might be affected by dangerous temperature increases. The statistics show that they could expect over 100 days with temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius on an annual basis by 2030.
Furthermore, similar intense temperatures might also affect the Top End of the country which includes the Kakadu National Park. Experts also claim that Australia is home to numerous ski fields. Unfortunately, due to climate change, the Australian ski resorts have reported a serious decline of maximum snow depth. Furthermore, the length of the season was also shorter during the last 25 years.
Dangerous heatwaves affect Australia
Therefore, to make up for the loss, resort managers implemented artificial snow. The new report also reveals the great impact of increasing temperatures on event-based sports tourism. During January, a two-day heatwave increased temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius. This happened during the Australia Open, causing some players to complain.
Climate change is one of humankind’s biggest concerns. Now has grown to be a major threat to the natural environment in Australia while also affecting the economy of the country. Tourism represents Australia’s second most valuable export earner, being a multi-billion dollar industry. This industry accounts for 4.9% of the workforce in the country.
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Tourism might continue to develop since the estimates show that the arrivals will increase by 3.3% every year by 2030. Tourism 2020 is the government’s new national strategy. The main focus of this strategy is to boost the tourism market and achieve over $115 billion in overnight spend by 2020. However, climate change may ruin the Australian government’s plan.
If global warming impacts the greatest tourist pulls in Australia, most likely the government of the country would need to focus on diminishing climate change effects. That is why they should do before spending their money on tourism campaigns for affected destinations. Martin rice is the chief executive of the Climate Council. He argues that there should be implemented a clear climate policy to cut down on the carbon pollution levels in Australia.
The tourism industry might be impaired
If this will not happen soon, then the effects of climate change will continue to intensify, accelerating across the whole country over the upcoming decades. Last year, Deloitte Access Economics developed a different report on the Great Barrier Reef. The report indicates that the reef is worth $56 billion, including the tourism revenues. Furthermore, specialists also included the indirect value of the reef for people who never had the chance to visit it but know it exists.
Lesley Hughes is the co-author of the new report and an ecologist. She says that many tourists travel across the globe to see the greatest natural wonders of Australia. However, many people do not know that these icons are now affected by the effects of climate change. The most popular touristic destinations have turned into no-go zones.
Some of them were unavailable during peak holiday seasons and periods because of the potential for extreme temperatures to increase to 50 degrees in Melbourne and Sydney. On February 6th, environmental advocates have urged Canberra to diminish coal-fired power generation. If they were to diminish the use of fossil fuels, the impacts of climate change would also decrease. Unfortunately, Australia is one of the worst greenhouse gas polluters per capita in the world.
Liz Hanna is a researcher at the School of Environment at the Australian National University. She says that the tremendous extra heat due to climate change can make some enterprises unviable while further reducing the tourist season.
Climate change is not only a possible threat, but a reality which affects the entire planet. Many of its effects have impacted numerous countries of the word. In Australia, climate change affects the tourism industry as the Great Barrier Reef is suffering and heatwaves hit different areas. Policymakers should impose new rules to diminish the use of greenhouse gas emissions.