Climate is a major factor for tourists when choosing a destination (Aguiló et al., 2005) and both tourists and tourism stakeholders are sensitive to fluctuations in the weather and climate (Wall, 1998). Statistical analyses by Maddison (2001), Lise and Tol (2002) and Hamilton (2003a), and a simulation study (Hamilton et al., 2003), have shown the relevance of climatic factors as determinants of tourist demand, next to economic and political conditions, fashion, media attention, and environmental quality. As a result of the complex nature of the interactions that exist between tourism, the climate system, the environment and society, it is difficult to isolate the direct observed impacts of climate change upon tourism activity. There is sparse literature about this relationship at any scale. Responses in skiing have been documented in Switzerland, Austria, the eastern USA and Chile (OECD, 2007; Elsasser and Messerli, 2001; Steininger and Weck-Hannemann, 2002; Beniston, 2003, 2004; Casassa et al., 2003; Hamilton et al., 2005) (see Section 18.104.22.168).
22.214.171.124 Regional adaptation
There are several studies that show societies adapting to climate changes such as drying trends or increasing temperatures (see Chapter 17). For example, responses to recent historical climate variability and change in four locations in southern Africa demonstrated that people were highly aware of changes in the climate, including longer dry seasons and more uncertain rainfall, and were adjusting to change through collective and individual actions that included both short-term coping through switching crops and long-term adaptations such as planting trees, and commercialising and diversifying livelihoods (Thomas and Twyman, 2005; Thomas et al., 2005). One of the most striking conclusions was the importance of local institutions and social capital such as farming associations in initiating and supporting adaptations. The use of climate science in adapting to water management during a long-term drought has been documented in Western Australia (Power et al., 2005).
In Europe, evidence is also accumulating that people are adapting to climate change, either in response to observed changes or in anticipation of predicted change. For example, in the UK, a large number of adaptations have been identified including changes in flood management guidelines (assuming more extremes), hiring of climate change managers, changing nature conservation and disaster plans, climate-proofing buildings, planting different crops and trees, and converting a skiing area to a walking centre in Scotland (West and Gawith, 2005).
Changes in socio-economic activities and modes of human response to climate change, including warming, are just beginning to be systematically documented in the cryosphere (MacDonald et al., 1997; Krupnik and Jolly, 2002; Huntington and Fox, 2004; Community of Arctic Bay et al., 2005). The impacts associated with these changes are both positive and negative, and are most pronounced in relation to the migration patterns, health and range of animals and plants that indigenous groups depend on for their livelihood and cultural identity. Responses vary by community and are dictated by particular histories, perceptions of change and the viability of options available to groups (Ford and Smit, 2004; Helander and Mustonen, 2004). In Sachs Harbour, Canada, responses include individual adjustments to the timing, location and methods of harvesting animals, as well as adjusting the overall mix of animals harvested to minimise risk (Berkes and Jolly, 2002). Communities that are particularly vulnerable to coastal erosion such as Shishmeref, Alaska, are faced with relocation. Many communities in the North are stepping up monitoring efforts to watch for signs of change so they can respond accordingly in both the long and short term (Fox, 2002). Agent-based simulation models (i.e., models dealing with individual decision making and interactions among individuals) are also being developed to assess adaptation and sustainability in small-scale Arctic communities (Berman et al., 2004). Effective responses will be governed by increased collaboration between indigenous groups, climate scientists and resource managers (Huntington and Fox, 2004).