Tourism icons threatened by climate change: report


The Climate Council has released a report which shows that Australia’s top five natural tourist attractions could be hit by extreme heatwaves, increasing temperatures, rising sea-levels, coastal flooding and catastrophic coral bleaching.

The report, Icons at Risk: Climate Change Threatening Australian Tourism, finds that:

Australia’s top five natural tourist attractions (beaches, wildlife, the Great Barrier Reef, wilderness and national parks) are all at risk of climate change.

  • Beaches are Australia’s #1 tourist destination and are threatened by rising sea levels.

  • Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Cairns, Darwin, Fremantle and Adelaide are projected to have a least a 100 fold increase in the frequency of coastal flooding events (with a 0.5m sea level rise).

  • The Red Centre could experience more than 100 days above 35ºC annually, by 2030. By 2090, there could be more than 160 days per year over 35ºC.

  • The Top End could see an increase in hot days (temperatures above 35ºC) from 11 (1981-2010 average) to 43 by 2030, and up to 265 by 2090.

  • Ski tourism: Declines of maximum snow depth and decreasing season length at Australian ski resorts have been reported for over 25 years, increasing the need for artificial snow-making.

  • Tourism is Australia’s second most valuable export earner, employing a workforce of more than 580,000 people, over 15 times more people than coal mining in Australia.

The report is available here.

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