Weathering the storm, come rain or shine

Tourists are used to donning raincoats to brave the Scottish weather, however tourism businesses are being urged to think about the impact of an increasing number of severe weather events caused by changes in the country’s climate.

Heavy downpours, flooding and even heatwaves will increasingly affect tourism in a number of ways such as unpredictable visitor numbers, delays with essential supplies, damage to buildings and landscapes being altered.

Anna Beswick, Programme Manager, Adaptation Scotland Programme, said:

“The plans and investments the tourism industry makes today will determine how we live with climate change in years to come.

“The tourism sector is and will continue to be affected by the changes taking place in Scotland’s climate. These changes bring lots of challenges and opportunities.”

Dr Fiona Hutchison, Sector Engagement Executive for Tourism at Interface, said:

“The impact of climate change on tourism can be major – as we have seen this winter with lack of snow affecting ski operators, accommodation providers, hospitality and retail companies and attractions which normally benefit from the boost in winter visitors.

“Looking at ways to adapt their business could be crucial to their long-term sustainability. There are great examples of adaptations being planned with many ski operators offering all year round activity by developing facilities to include cyclists and walkers.

“However, there could be developments or useful research for all kinds of tourism businesses, large and small, which could be explored with Scotland’s world-class academic expertise. From festivals to wildlife watching, the addition of an academic partner could bring untapped benefits to individual businesses and the wider industry. Collaborating as a group of several businesses can also really pay dividends to a local economy.”

Interface has partnered with Adaptation Scotland, to stage a workshop for tourism businesses and organisations. Climate Change – what it means for your tourism business, is a free event, taking place in Perth on 3 May.