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Climate Change and urban tourism in China


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Conference by COTRI's director Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt about the consequences of Climate Change for Tourism in urban areas, especially in China. At Zhejiang University (Hangzhou) in 2009.

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Climate Change and urban tourism in China

  1. 1. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS COTRI / West Coast University of Applied Sciences Germany, Heide Climate Change and Urban Tourism Zhejiang University 2009 China International Leisure Development Forum, Hangzhou/China
  2. 2. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt <ul><li>Professor for International Tourism Management </li></ul><ul><li>PhD from FU Berlin, studies in Taiwan and Hong Kong </li></ul><ul><li>1978 first visit to People's Republic of China </li></ul><ul><li>1986-1989 outbound tour operator Europe -> China </li></ul><ul><li>1991-1999 inbound tour operator China -> Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Since 2002 Professor at university in Germany, visiting professor in China (Ningbo U) and UK (Sunderland U) </li></ul><ul><li>Since 2004 Director China Outbound Tourism Research Institute </li></ul><ul><li>Since 2006 Board Member of European Leisure Research Association </li></ul><ul><li>Since 2008 Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (London) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Climate Change and Urban Tourism   Content 1. Introduction – Climate Change, Tourism and Cities  2. The state of Climate Change and Tourism research 3. Climate Change and Urban tourism – A blind spot 4. Climate Change and Urban tourism – Consequences 5. Conclusion
  4. 4. 1. Introduction – Climate Change, Tourism and Cities <ul><li>“ Since the dangers posed by global warming aren’t tangible, immediate or visible in the course of day-to-day life, however awesome they appear, many will sit on their hands and do nothing of a concrete nature about them. Yet waiting until they become visible and acute before being stirred to serious action will, by definition, be too late.” (Giddens 2009, p. 2) </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of United Nations stated in 2007 that global warming is unequivocal and becomes evident from the observations of the </li></ul><ul><li>- increase in the global average air and ocean temperatures </li></ul><ul><li>generalised melting of icecaps and glaciers and </li></ul><ul><li>- increase in the sea level global average. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Climate Change first described in 1824 by Fourier 20 th c.: Average global air temperature + 0.7º C 21 th c.: Expected increase + 6º C 10,000 years ago: 10 million global population 2,000 years ago: 300 million global population 200 years ago: 1 billion global population Year 2012: 7 billion global population Major part of the global wealth invested in cities at specific places in a globalised economy, impossible for mankind to migrate to areas favoured by climate change and anthropogenic global warming.
  7. 7. <ul><li>International tourism 2008: 922 million travels </li></ul><ul><li>Tourism industry responsible for 10% of jobs and GDP globally </li></ul><ul><li>Tourism relies on intact physical surroundings </li></ul><ul><li>But tourism is also a major source of pollution: Emissions from tourism activities including transport and accommodation represent approximately 5% of the global CO2 emissions </li></ul>
  8. 8. Urban tourism has been gaining in importance compared to “3S” (Sea, Sand & Sun) tourism and has become a major source of income for cities around the world City centers have been transformed into cityscapes concentrating on the spatial development of “tourist bubbles”
  9. 9. 2. The state of Climate Change and Tourism research <ul><li>  Climate Change only after the 1 st International Conference on Climate Change and Tourism (Djerba 2003) became a “hot” topic for tourism research. </li></ul><ul><li>Current research on climate change and tourism can be grouped into three major categories: </li></ul><ul><li>  - Impacts of climate change on tourism destinations: coastal and marine zones, polar areas, wetlands, ski tourism, nature-based tourism, mountain tourism </li></ul><ul><li>Impacts of climate change on tourist demand/tourist flows : link between temperature and tourist demand </li></ul><ul><li>Tourism’s impacts on climate change: contributions of the tourism industry to climate change, tourists and industry perceptions of climate change issues, role of climate in outbound tourism demand and destination choice </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The United Nations, especially the UNWTO, have played an important role in putting the topic of Climate Change and Tourism onto the agenda: </li></ul><ul><li>1 st International Conference on Climate Change & Tourism Djerba 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>2 nd International Conference on Climate Change & Tourism Davos 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Ministers’ Summits on Climate Change & Tourism during WTM fair in London in 2007 and 2008, next one on November 11 th , 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>UNWTO, together with the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), has established a set of guidelines for the entire tourism sector including the business and leisure markets, to help respond to climate change in coherence with the Millennium Development Goals. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>a
  11. 11. 3. Climate Change and Urban tourism – A blind spot <ul><li>    “ For tourism, climate change is not a remote event, but a phenomenon ‎that already affects the ‎sector and certain destinations in particular, ‎mountain regions and coastal destinations among ‎others” and that “Climate is an essential resource for tourism, and especially for the ‎ beach, nature and winter ‎sport tourism segments.” (UNWTO 2009, emphasis added ) </li></ul><ul><li>Urban tourism and climate change is almost never a topic for research in publications and during conferences on climate change and tourism. </li></ul><ul><li>Is this because there are no consequences for urban tourism or is this a new and fruitful area of research that can and should be opened? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  12. 12. 4. Climate Change and Urban tourism – Consequences <ul><li>    </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change cannot be denied to have consequences for urban tourism, not only in the future but as a phenomenon ‎that already affects us today. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>“ Lunch was delicious. Pollution was disgusting. Notice how dark it was. This photo was taken at noon.“ Hangzhou 2006 (From a private blog)
  13. 13. . <ul><li>    Until 1980s focus of the discussion of negative consequences of anthropogenic changes in the environment for tourism concentrated on the acid rain destroying stones and surfaces of urban heritage (Holden 2008). </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Since the 1990s air pollution is main concern, many cities suffering a decline in international tourism arrivals because of health safety concerns but also because of the loss of famous vistas and the specific atmosphere. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: The “haze” phenomenon in Southeast Asia has done damage to the destination image of cities like Kuala Lumpur and Djakarta (Lim 2005). </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change cannot be denied to have consequences for urban tourism, not only in the future but as a phenomenon ‎that already affects us today. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  14. 14. . <ul><li>Cheung & Law (2001) interviewed more than 1,000 inbound tourists to Hong Kong. Air quality was still just acceptable to tourists. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2007 several reports showed that visitors are increasingly suffering from smog-related illnesses and that complaints about the poor air quality by visitors are on the rise. </li></ul><ul><li>This fact was highlighted when the cruise ship Queen Mary 2 paid a visit during its maiden voyage around the world and the passengers were recommended that they should stay onboard because of the extreme pollution. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  15. 15. . <ul><li>Another consequence of global warming: Endangerment of city culture festivals connected to cold temperatures. Example: Sapporo ice carving festival.   </li></ul><ul><li>Clearest consequence of the accelerated climate change is the increased unpredictability of the weather. </li></ul><ul><li>For urban tourism this will support the trend of moving outdoor activities indoors. After skiing halls, diving tanks and tropical beach halls, open-square markets offering indoor activities, open air events are likely to migrate in larger numbers to indoor arenas, where the environment can be controlled and weather variations and air pollution do not interfere with the experience of the spectators. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Climate change is adding to the basic anxiety of the post-modern globalised world. The impact of climate change on leisure behaviour patterns and especially on tourism behaviour patterns has become a major topic of discussion. </li></ul><ul><li>Urban tourism is already affected by climate change today and will be affected even more in the coming decades. </li></ul><ul><li>However, in the discussion about climate change and tourism until now only nature-based forms of tourism are discussed. </li></ul><ul><li>The future of mankind is urban, therefore it is necessary to include urban tourism into the discourse on climate change. </li></ul><ul><li>It seems to be most fitting to start this discourse in Hangzhou, a developing megacity and one of the most important tourism cities in China, the country with the highest urban population in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>Conclusion
  17. 17. Thank you for your attention! [email_address]
  18. 18. Contact information <ul><li>Address........................ C hina O utbound T ourism R esearch I nstitute (COTRI) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fritz-Thiedemann-Ring 20 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>25746 Heide/Holstein </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Germany </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Phone ………………… +49 (0) 481 / 85 55 - 523 </li></ul><ul><li>Fax…………………….. +49 (0) 481 / 85 55 - 121 </li></ul><ul><li>Email…………………… [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Internet………………… </li></ul>