Preparing for Climate Change in the Red Sea

21 February 2012 | Downloads - publication

Preparing for Climate Change in the Red Sea -Recognising early impacts through perceptions of dive tourists and dive operators in Egypt.

Tourism is considered to be a highly climate sensitive sector and the tourism industry has a key role to play in confronting the challenges of climate change. The relation between climate change and tourism is twofold: climate change impacts on tourism and tourism impact climate change.  

Climate affects a wide range of environmental resources that are essential attraction factors for tourism. The regional manifestations of climate change such as coral reef damage, extreme weather patterns or water shortages have potentially disastrous effects on many tourism destinations and tourism products.

Kuoni acknowledge that their business has an impact on the climate and are attempting to counter this impact and trying to take responsibility for the emissions caused by their business activities. Kuoni wants to be part of the solution to climate change, by reducing its green house gas emissions as well as by helping the communities where tourism represents a major economic source to prepare for and adapt to the changing climate.  

In this context, it is critical to understand the potential impacts of climate change in the Egyptian Red Sea. Raising awareness of this threat among local tour operators and resource managers is crucial to plan actions that can potentially mitigate future impacts to coral reefs and marine-based tourism.

In partnership with local tour operators, IUCN, the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) and Kuoni work together to address three issues: firstly to assess the vulnerability of the tourism industry to climate change. Secondly, to train and empower local capacity to monitor and manage coral reefs in the face of climate change. Thirdly, to undertake an environmental education and public awareness campaign addressing the impacts of anthropogenic activities on marine habitats.  

This publication should help to develop practical guidance and capacity building for climate change adaptation. It is designed to provide a pragmatic platform to strengthen the capacity of professionals to understand and respond effectively to the global challenges of climate change in tourism destinations.

We hope that this publication will support efforts to mainstream climate change considerations into tourism planning and management. We further believe that the tourism sector, through its major contribution to global development, can influence other sectors by sending important signals to governments, industries and the public that climate mitigation and adaptation measures are not only vital for our future, but also make economic sense.

Coral reefs 14, Koh Bon island, Thailand