Climate change does not threaten the “sun and sand” and will even extend the high season to June and September


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The climate change poses no threat to the continuity of the tourism from “Sun and beach»-Contrary to some omens- and will even favor a elongation from high season to the warmer months of June and September, according to a study by the University of Alicante.

Of course, the most extreme temperatures make it advisable to adapt the facilities in the accommodation because they will live in worse “climatic comfort” in the middle of the summer, according to the future projections exposed in this work, published in the magazine Investigaciones Turisticas de the UA, which explains how the rise in nighttime temperatures in coastal areas and daytime temperatures in the interior have an impact on the tourism sector in the Valencian Community. The authors are Jorge Olcina, Professor of Regional Geographic Analysis at the college from Alicante (UA) and president of the Spanish Association of Geography (AGE), Y Juan Javier Miró, Professor of Physical Geography at the University from Valencia (UV).

The article shows changes in temperature and seasonal rainfall patterns, which affect the climatic comfort, a main resource for tourism. Specifically, an increase in maximum temperatures has been detected in summer and late spring, especially in the interior, an increase in the frequency of «tropical nights»(Minimum night temperature above 20ºC) in the coastal area and a increase from temperature of the Water from sea Mediterranean.

Jorge Olcina and Juan Javier Miró, authors of the study
Jorge Olcina and Juan Javier Miró, authors of the study – ABC

“Tourism activity is based largely on the ideal climatic conditions for the ‘sun and beach’ resource. In this context, climate change affects these conditions, which lose some of their typical suitability in summer. But, at the same time, it also opens up new opportunities with better climatic conditions in the middle of summer, and improves fitness for new ways from tourism at interior which is greatly favored by the reduction in the cold season of the year ”, Miró highlights.

Softer on the inside

As a consequence of these factors, «the research foresees a strong loss of thermal comfort in summer for the year 2100, while the opposite occurs for the winter, since in this season the trend is towards an improvement in the entire Community. Furthermore, a relative increase in comfort is to be expected in the mountainous areas and high parts, not only in winter but also in autumn and spring, ”says Olcina.

The speed of adaptation of tourism is essential to maintain competitiveness and its strong influence on the regional economy. Therefore, the authors propose the following measures: modify the “high season” calendar to include the months of June and September, to get better the conditioning climatic conditions of tourist establishments, have good catering from Water and modify civil protection and public health protocols to face climatic hazards such as strong rains.

The objectives of the research have been to study the territorial distribution of thermal comfort in the Valencian Community, through the analysis of climatic and geographical factors, and to project the situation at the end of this century in the context of the current climate warming process. The Climatic Comfort Index of Mieczkowski (TCI), a tool to evaluate the tourist aptitude offered by a climate based on its characteristics.

Juan Javier Miró’s research focuses on the study of climate change in the Mediterranean basin of the Iberian Peninsula and on the development of reconstruction techniques and analysis of climate databases. Jorge Olcina’s work focuses on various geographical issues related to Land Management, Climatology and Natural Risks.

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