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    Climate Change

    Climate change in Global Scenario

    Climate change is a burning issue which had affected different sectors of the environment. It is observed in Nepal in the form of increased frequency of natural disasters, rise in temperature and change in rainfall patterns, shifting of tree line and unfavorable weather change phenomena. It had affected agriculture, hydropower, tourism and livelihood of people in Nepal. Tourism is a travel to a place for the purpose of business, vacation and other activities. It generates enterprise and employment, increases income and helps in sustaining livelihood of local people. There is a close relationship between climate and tourism in ecosystem tourism, coastal tourism, mountain tourism and nature-based tourism.

    Climate change brings more risks than opportunities by causing regional and seasonal shifts in tourist flows. This paper is based on the review of researches on climate change and tourism. Climate change had caused shift in destination choice of tourists. It had reduced barrier of winter tourism in Nepal in short term. But, unfavorable weather change phenomena had taken lives of many tourists in Nepal and had caused discomfort in transportation in mountain regions. It would decrease the flow of tourists in long term and decrease the income from tourism. It will further cause adverse impact on livelihood of tourism dependent people. To minimize the adverse impact of climate change on tourism, appropriate preventive measures, rescue measures and early warning systems should be implemented in mountain tourism in Nepal.


    Climate change is a burning issue throughout the world which had affected different sectors of the environment. It had been observed from historical past and is growing rapidly due to emission of greenhouse gases (K. C., Bhandari, Joshi, & Aryal, 2013; K.C. & Ghimire, 2015; K.C., Joshi, & Aryal, 2014). It has been observed mainly by  *Anup K.C. who climate is associated with Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, and Kathmandu, Nepal. Email: [email protected]

    Journals of Tourism and Hospitality 

    It is in the form of decrease in number of cold days and nights, increase in number of warm days and nights, change in rainfall pattern and change in extreme weather and climate events. Temperature of earth increases by 0.85°C (0.65°C to 1.06°C) from 1880 to 2012 but the increase in temperature of the past 15 years (1998–2012) is 0.05°C (–0.05°C to 0.15°C) per decade (IPCC, 2014; K.C., 2015). Environmental resources, climatic systems, biodiversity and tourism sectors might be destroyed by 2°C rise in earth temperature. It might cause change in rainfall pattern, scarcity of drinking water, melting of glacier, rise of sea level, destruction of forest, tree line shift, decrease in biodiversity and destruction of high altitude ecosystem (Dawson & Scott, 2013).

    Climate Change in Nepal

    Impact of COVID-19 on Tourism Industry in Nepal

    Climate change had been observed more severely in Hindu Kush Himalayan region including Nepal due to the high altitudinal variation and fragile geographic structures (K. C., et al., 2013; K.C. & Ghimire, 2015). It had been observed in Nepal in the form of increase in frequency of natural hazards, rise in temperature, change in rainfall patterns, shifting of tree line and unfavorable weather change phenomena (Eugenio-Martin & Campos-Soria, 2010; K.C. & Ghimire, 2015). Impacts of climate change is worsen by geographical location, rugged topography, social condition, political influence, lack of skilled manpower, illiteracy and economic prosperity, nature dependent livelihood and poverty (Gurung & Bhandari, 2009; K. C., et al., 2013). With reference to global Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI), Nepal is fourth most vulnerable country to climate change impacts in the world (CCNN, 2011; MoSTE, 2015).

    Temperature of Nepal is rising at the annual rate of 0.04 – 0.06°C per year which is more than global rate (Shivakoti, Lopez-Casero, Kataoka, & Shrestha, 2015). But the analysis of temperature data from 1975 to 2005 shows increase in average temperature by 0.04°C/year. Temperature was increasing across the whole country with higher rate of increase in high altitude and urban areas. Annual rate of increase in temperature of Kathmandu was 0.05°C with increasing trend of seasonal and decadal temperature (Baidya, Regmi, & Shrestha, 2007). The rate of change in temperature was higher in winter season compared to other seasons (Agrawala et al., 2003; Baidya, et al., 2007).

    Winter season is getting cooler while summer season is getting warmer (Eugenio- Martin & Campos-Soria, 2010). Number of warm days and nights has increased while number of cold days and cold nights has decreased (Baidya, et al., 2007; Shivakoti, et al., 2015). Temperature predictions by different models show increase in future temperature by 1.2°C till 2050 and 3°C till 2100 (Agrawala, et al., 2003). Few models predict rise in temperature of 1.4°C by 2030, 2.8°C by 2060 and 4.7°C by 2090 (GWPNepal, 2015; NCVST, 2009).

    Climate Change and its Impact

    Analysis of rainfall data from 1971 to 2005 shows change in annual and seasonal rainfall pattern with overall increase in annual average rainfall by 2.08 mm. There was increase in number of heavy rainfall events and decrease in number of rainy days (Baidya, et al., 2007). Rainfall is in decreasing trend in central and western Terai and increasing trend in western and northern mountains (FAO, 2010). There is prediction of increase in rainfall amount, heavy rainfall events and droughts in the future (GWPNepal, 2014; NCVST, 2009).

    Impacts of Climate Change 

    Impacts of Climate Change 

    Climate change had affected agriculture, hydro power, tourism and livelihood of local people in Nepal (Sharma, 2009). These sectors are highly affected by decrease in snow fall and snow cover and change in temperature pattern in mountain region (K.C. & Thapa Parajuli, 2014a, 2014b). Floods, droughts, landslides and soil erosion have increased due to sudden change in rainfall pattern (FAO, 2010; K. C., et al., 2013).

    Increase in temperature had caused melting of snow and glacier retreat, modification of hydrology and increase in glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) (ADB, 2015; FAO, 2010). It had also altered ecosystem facilities, crop diversity and production cycles (GWPNepal, 2015; MoSTE, 2015). Climate change had adversely affected female, children, disadvantaged people, poor, marginalized and smallholder farmers due to the lack of coping capacity (Shivakoti, et al., 2015). It had resulted in shifting of dominant species of lower region to higher region and disturbing the balance of environment (K.C. & Ghimire, 2015).


    Tourism means traveling and staying away from home to a different place for the purpose of business, vacation and other activities. It is a main source of income for sustaining livelihood in most of the developed and developing countries of the world. It has impact on environment, economy, culture, traditions and physical infrastructure. Mountaineering and trekking are major tourism activities in mountain areas that have helped to uplift the livelihood of local people. Tourism generates employment for youths as mountain guides and porters and helps in generating income for their living (K.C. & Thapa Parajuli, 2014b). It has also created opportunities for enterprise generation through the operation of gift shops, groceries, tea houses and lodges along the trails (Sherpa, 2006).

    Tourists throughout the world spend their vacation in mountain areas for trekking and mountaineering, ocean beach for recreational activities and watching diversity of flora and fauna. Tourists travelling in colder climates benefit more from increasing temperature than those travelling to warmer climates (Eugenio-Martin & Campos-Soria,2010). They are attracted to the glaciers of mountain region of western North America (D. Scott, Jones, & Konopek, 2007).

    Journals of Tourism and Hospitality

    Journal of Tourism and Hospitality

    Mountain, trekking and mountaineering in higher altitudes, recreational activities near the sea and oceans, religious tours in religious areas and site visit to a naturally and ecologically rich place is the main source of revenue collection for local and national authority (K.C., 2017). About 10% of Gross Development Products (GDP) was spent in tourism in the world and this revenue has great impact on livelihood of developing economies. It increases income of park management and enhances economy of nearby gateway communities (D. Scott, et al., 2007).

    Tourism in Nepal

    Good and Bad Things about Nepal

    Nepal has an area of 147,181 sq. km. with diversity of physiography, landscape, climate, topography, ecosystem, cultural heritage and natural resources (K.C., 2016). There are many mountains, protected areas, religions, castes, traditions, religious places and adventurous places (Bhusal, 2007; K.C., 2016). Tourists are attracted to the mountain ranges, cultural heritages, trekking routes and ecotourism sites (K.C., 2016). National as well as international tourists visit the mountain areas mainly for trekking in Nepal and mountaineering. They enjoy indigenous culture, scenic view of different Himalayan ranges and scenic beauty of natural resource. Tourism is helping to increase biological diversity and use of renewable energy, maintaining peace and social security and enhancing income and livelihood of tourism dependent people of mountain region of Nepal (K.C., Rijal, & Sapkota, 2015).

    Climate Change and Tourism

    Kanchenjunga Trek In October

    There is a close relationship between climate and tourism in ecosystem tourism, coastal tourism, mountain tourism and nature-based tourism (K.C. & Thapa Parajuli, 2014a). Climate change increases stress on environmental systems of different locations. It causes sea level rise on small island states, increases the risk of illness in tropical countries and discourages tourism. More frequent periods of extreme heat will cause discomfort in trekking (Viner & Agnew, 1999).

    Climate change brings more risks than opportunities by causing regional and seasonal shifts in tourist flows. It adversely affects those climate sensitive countries who are highly dependent on tourism (Ehmer & Heymann, 2008). Most of the nature-based tourism activities in the Himalayas are weather-sensitive so rain and foggy conditions significantly decrease the quality of the trekking experience in the Himalaya. Tourists can opt for change in destination if weather continues to disappoint them (Rayamajhi, 2012).

    Weather and climate affects tourist demand, comfort, satisfaction, tourism industries and natural resources important to the tourism industry. Climate change can influence climate sensitive and economically important tourism sector (Dawson

    & Scott, 2013). It had affected tourism in many countries of the world (D. Scott, et al., 2007; Wyss, Abegg, & Luthe, 2014). It affects specific recreation and tourism activities, demand of tourism and quality of tourism activities (D. Scott, et al., 2007).

    Climate Change and its Impacts

    Climate has a great role in destination choice of tourists as sunny day is more favorable than a cloudy or a rainy day (Berrittella, Bigano, Roson, & Tol, 2006). It can attract more tourists in some place while it can decrease the tourist flow in few places. Few tourists would like to spend their holiday in their own home instead of travelling abroad due to unfavorable weather change phenomena. There will be less impacts of climate change on Zimbabwe as it is the coolest country in the region (Berrittella, et al., 2006).

    Climate change affects physical resources and indirectly affects tourism (D. Scott, et al., 2007). It causes phenological change in the ecosystem which in turn affects leaf viewing tourism (Ge, Dai, Liu, Zhong, & Liu, 2013). It also affects forest fire in mountain regions which in turn affects regeneration rate of plants (D. Scott, et al., 2007). Increase in lake and river temperature affects biological resources of lake and decreases tourist visiting the lake (D. Scott, et al., 2007).

    There is a change in temperature by 0.65°C while moving every 100 m elevation in mountain areas which has made tourism more climate sensitive in the area (Dawson & Scott, 2013). Retreating glaciers due to climate change affects tourism in mountain peaks (D. Scott, et al., 2007). It had more impact on mountain tourism throughout the world (Wyss, et al., 2014). Warmer climate could increase visitors in national parks of mountain region of Canada and United States (D. Scott, et al., 2007).

    Visitors of Scandinavian and north-European countries visit other countries during winter months while residents of Mediterranean countries travel to other countries during summer. Tourism demands of any place depend on the socioeconomic characteristics of the household and attractive recreational place of residence (Eugenio-Martin & Campos-Soria, 2010). Climate change plays a great role in destination selection of tourists. Mediterranean region get more benefits due to cool and rainy season (Bigano, Bosello, Roson, & Tol, 2008).

    Impacts of climate change on tourism are both direct and indirect which are also associated with GHG emissions. Tourism sector advocates inclusion of climate change issues into national policy formulation but could not make significant account of climate change impacts on tourism (Becken & Clapcott, 2011). To adapt from climate change, ski resorts are built at higher elevations creating skiing atmosphere.

    Also, investment is done in all-season resorts and non-snow-based tourism activities to adapt from climate change. Recent strategies of snowmaking and advanced adaptation techniques are unable to minimize impact of climate change on tourism in ski areas (Dawson & Scott, 2013). Climate change had variable impacts at a variable scale which should be addressed through national policy making. Relevant climate change policies should be developed by national governments with appropriate local specifications (Becken & Clapcott, 2011).

    Methodological Issues Of Climate Change And Tourism

    Developing Climate Resilient Livelihoods in the Vulnerable

    Different researches are conducted by researchers throughout the world to assess the impact of climate change on tourism. They have applied different methodologies to find the relationship between climate change and tourism. This section provides detail review of methodological issues pertaining to the research topic. It would help researchers to identify the appropriate research paper and appropriate methodology for their research.

    This paper is based on the review of available research papers and review papers related to climate change and tourism. Different internet sources and published papers were reviewed for preparing this paper. Research conducted in international and national level was reviewed with special focus on national level research of Nepal in this paper.

    Global Scenario

    How Is Tourism Affected By Climate Change

    With an aim to identify the risk of climate change on health and vulnerable populations of mountainous regions of Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region, Ebi et al (2007) reviewed documents related to consequences of climate change on tourism and health in mountain regions. Research conducted in different parts of the world was reviewed for preparing this paper.

    Becken and Clapcott, (2011) conducted a study in Fiji and New Zealand in policy level. They conducted a research to prepare appropriate policy to cope with impact of climate change. Stakeholders of climate change, tourism and both the field were involved for policy making process. The case studies focused on development of strong leadership, commitment and sufficient resource on tourism sector to cope with climate change.

    Braun et al. (1999) conducted a pilot study in German Coast at the North and Baltaic Seas to develop a method to measure the sensitivity of destination choice of visitors to changing climatic scenario. Also, psychological experimental approach was applied to assess socioeconomic impacts of climate change on tourism.

    With the help of scoring model, Ehmer & Heymann (2008) observed the positive or negative effects of climate change in tourism. Direct climatic effects, substitution effects, regulatory burdens and its substitution effects and adaptation to climatic effects were the four main parameters of the model. To assess differentiation between countries, different weight age was given by dividing the score into different subcategories.

    With an objective to assess adaptation practices of tourist resorts to climate change and to assess their potential to reduce climate change by decreasing carbon dioxide emission, Becken (2005) conducted a study in Fiji. The data was collected by interviewing stakeholders and experts, tourist operators and accommodation operators. Informal discussion was done with the stakeholders and experts and notes were taken. Background information and results was obtained from interview with industry operator and accommodation survey. Interview with private sector were conducted at the resorts during field visit with the help of semi-structured questionnaire. Operator’s attitude towards climate change, adaptation, and mitigation measures was assessed during interview. Information related to energy consumption, climate change and environmental management was assessed through questionnaire survey. The support was taken from Department of Energy and the Ministry of Tourism while questionnaire survey was done with all tourism accommodation providers in Suva, the Coral Coast, the Mamanuca Islands, and Nadi.

    Impact of climate change on tourism and sea level was assessed by Bigano et al (2008) by applying Global Vulnerability Analysis. It focuses on the economic assessment of climate change impacts on sea-level rise and changes in tourism flows with the help of Commutable General Equilibrium model.

    Berrittella et al (2006) studied the impact of climate change in destination choice of tourists. Partial equilibrium analysis was done to assess the distribution of income of tourism in different region. To study the systemic general equilibrium impacts of global warming and climate change, commutable general equilibrium model was used. A computable general equilibrium model provides detailed description of an economic system, trade linkages between industries, regions and markets. It simulates and assesses structural adjustments, economic systems, technology, preferences and economic policy. It also simulates impact of exogenous changes in demand patterns and available income in different countries induced by variations in tourism flows.

    Empirical analysis and social network analysis technique was used for analysis of interdependence between different factors in mountain tourism region of Alps. To get information from different stakeholders, focus group discussions were carried out. Focus group discussions helped to assess the perception of tourism operators towards impact of climate change in tourism and adaptation measures of tourism towards climate change (Wyss, et al., 2014).

    Scott, et al. (2007) conducted a study in Rocky Mountain national parks of western North America to assess the impact of climate change in nature-based tourism. It also assesses the influence of climate change in park tourism of Rocky Mountain region. It focuses on direct and indirect impacts of climate change in visitation to Waterton Lakes National Park (WLNP) (Alberta, Canada). It focuses on empirical assessment of response of visitor towards future climate and its impacts on visitation rate in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

    Journals of Tourism and Hospitality

    Climate was prepared to examine the direct impact of climate change on visitation rate of tourists. To test the regression-based climate–visitation models, a multi-year data set of monthly observed visitation were used to assess the impact of climate change on the timing and number of annual visitors to WLNP. Visitor survey was also used to explore the impact of climate change to WLNP’s natural landscape and future visitation.

    Eugenio-Martin and Campos-Soria (2010) assess the impact of climate on choice of holiday destination of tourists and tourism demand of a place. They use vicariate probity model which uses new regional climate index based on a double-hurdle model of temperature and rainfall. The methodology utilizes number of months of a year having good climate for tourism purposes. Information about socioeconomic characteristics of European households, region of residence and climate was taken for the analysis. For collecting socioeconomic information, household survey was conducted with the help of strained weighted survey of 16183 households in 1997. Information from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom was taken from household survey. They use GIS and non parametric techniques for estimating probabilities related to climate and tourism.

    Dawson and Scott (2013) examined the combined regional impacts of climate change on tourism in US Northeast region by modeling local-level impacts at all 103-ski areas. Vulnerabilities caused by variable climate change in ski tourism were assessed. To calibrate the change in temperature of higher elevation of ski area, available snowmaking technologies and generic lapse rates were used. Future climate change scenarios and the baseline period were derived from gridded climate data of Northeast Climate Impact Assessment. Six climate change scenarios and three different Global Climate Models were used in the study. Average results of three Global Climate Models were used for lower and higher emission scenarios of three future time periods.

    National Scenario Everest Base Camp Trek in October

    Nepal, (2004) conducted a study on Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, Nepal to assess the impact of visitors on different environmental components of trail. For this study, 90 kilometers distance of 7 trails and 208 trail segments was taken for analysis. To assess the status of trail, four-class rating system was used. Spatial analysis of impacts was done with the help of Arc/Info and Arc/View geographic information system (GIS). Ecological impacts were well established on camp sites and trails with the help of standard qualitative techniques replicable in different ecological settings. Trail survey manual was prepared with the help of qualitative and quantitative data and data analysis techniques.

    Rayamajhi (2012) studied the impact of climate change and tourism in Annapurna Conservation Area of Nepal. The study was conducted with the help of perception analysis of the stakeholders in the tourism sector. Mainly the lodge-owners, guides and tourists in the Annapurna Trekking Trail were interviewed and their perception related to climate change and tourism was assessed.

    To assess the impact of climate change on tourism, K.C. & Thapa Parajuli (2014a) conducted a study in Manaslu Conservation Area of Gorkha District in central Nepal. The field study was conducted in the month of April and May in 2012 in hilly and mountain region of Nepal. The study was done with the help of 5 KIIs, 3 FGDs and 76 questionnaire surveys with local people and secondary data of climate and tourism. Clustered random sampling was done with the help of semi-structured questionnaire in Nepali language. Relationship between climate change and tourism was studied with the help of graphical and correlation analysis.

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