Tourism and climate change in the Middle East

Authored by: C. Michael Hall

Routledge Handbook on Tourism in the Middle East and North Africa

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138651920
eBook ISBN: 9781315624525
Adobe ISBN:


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The Middle East is the first region of the world to have effectively run out of water. Not surprisingly, the Middle East is therefore widely regarded as one of the world’s regions that appears most at risk from anthropogenic climate change. With the effects of climate change already regarded as having an impact on security in the region, including water and food security, flow-on effects on tourism are inevitable. Undoubtedly, the relationship between tourism and climate change reflects some of the issues faced by other industries and economic sectors. However, tourism in the Middle East region has particular characteristics and vulnerabilities that necessitate specific mitigation and adaptation responses. These include tourism’s disproportionate economic significance in developing countries; its use as a justification for biodiversity conservation; the climate change-related factors of weather, environmental change, natural disaster, risk and security in influencing tourist travel patterns; and the extent to which tourism is especially exposed to carbon governance regimes. The chapter provides an overview of such issues. It is divided into two main sections. The first defines how the terms climate and climate change are used, and should be understood. The second section identifies some of the main issues associated with climate change in the region and outlines some of the potential implications for tourism.

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