12.5.9 Tourism and recreation
A variety of adaptation measures are available to the tourism industry (WTO, 2003, Hanson et al., 2006). Regarding winter tourism, compensating for reduced snowfall by artificial snowmaking is already common practice for coping with year-to-year snow pack variability. However, this adaptation strategy is likely to be economic only in the short term, or in the case of very high elevation resorts in mountain regions, and may be ecologically undesirable. New leisure industries, such as grass-skiing or hiking could compensate for any income decrease experienced by the ski industry due to snow deterioration (Fukushima et al., 2002). Regarding coastal tourism, the protection of resorts from sea-level rise may be feasible by constructing barriers or by moving tourism infrastructure further back from the coast (Pinnegar et al., 2006). In the Mediterranean region, the likely reduction of tourism during the hotter summer months may be compensated for by promoting changes in the temporal pattern of seaside tourism, for example by encouraging visitors during the cooler months (Amelung and Viner, 2006). The increasing, new climate-related risks to health, availability of water, energy demand and infrastructure are likely to be dealt with through efficient co-operation with local governments. Another adaptive measure for European tourism, in general, is promoting new forms of tourism such as eco-tourism or cultural tourism and placing greater emphasis on man-made rather than natural attractions, which are less sensitive to weather conditions (Hanson et al., 2006). It is also likely that people will adapt autonomously and reactively by changing their recreation and travel behaviour in response to the new climatic conditions (Sievanen et al., 2005).
12.5.10 Property insurance
The insurance industry has several approaches for adapting to the growing climate-related risk to property. These include raising the cost of insurance premiums, restricting or removing coverage, reinsurance and improved loss remediation (Dlugolecki, 2001). Insurers are beginning to use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to provide information needed to adjust insurance tariffs to climate-related risks (Dlugolecki, 2001; Munich Re, 2004) although the uncertainty of future climate change is an obvious problem in making these adjustments. Insurers are also involved in discussions of measures for climate change mitigation and adaptation, including measures such as more stringent control of flood-plain development and remedial measures for damages derived from weather action and extreme events (ABI, 2000; Dlugolecki and Keykhah, 2002).
An obvious adaptation measure against property damage is to improve construction techniques so that buildings and infrastructure are more robust to extreme climate events. However, even if building techniques are immediately improved, the benefits will not be instantaneous because current building stock has a long remaining lifetime. Hence these buildings would not be replaced for many years by more resilient structures unless they are retrofitted. While retrofitting can be an effective adaptation measure it also has drawbacks. Costs are often high, residents are disrupted and poor enforcement of building regulations and construction practices could lead to unsatisfactory results.