Climate change is real, and combatting ugly weather patterns is going to be one of the biggest tasks for the industry in coming years, according to experts.
It’s fair to say most travellers are looking for sunny weather when planning a trip.
Agents are often asked to ensure their clients that they will not be going in the wet season, and if they are, showers will be brief.
Conversations about weather shape a clients’ booking and the best agents are those with a firm understanding when travellers need to pack umbrellas and when they need to pack 50+ sunscreen.
But with the state of weather becoming increasingly unpredictable, how concerned should agents be about climate change and the impact it will have on trips?
Well, according to an opinion posted by the ABC by Susanne Becken, very.
For Becken, “Weather not only determines whether we feel “comfortable” — not too hot and not too cold — but it also creates the environmental conditions that we require for particular activities.”
“But the changes happening to our climate will almost certainly influence our future holiday planning,” she added.
In her opinion piece, Becken detailed the way weather has been changing even in the last half-decade.
“The past few years have produced a range of climate extremes and new records. The 2016/17 summer, for example, broke 205 temperature records across Australia.
“Elsewhere, the holiday paradise of the Caribbean islands saw a record-breaking hurricane season (Harvey, Irma and Maria).
“Any type of extreme weather may not only ruin a holiday but can also put us at great danger.”
So how exactly will it change booking patterns and client trips?
For Becken, tourism trends will shift in relation to weather.
“While mountains might become more attractive in summer, they will increasingly struggle to maintain viable ski tourism.”
“Research on snow depths in Australian ski resorts shows that by 2040 and 2090 there will be significant reductions, and snowmaking will not be able to compensate for this loss if temperatures are too warm.”
The issue isn’t simply a reorganisation of booking trends, said Becken, the real problems lie in trip insurance and most importantly, traveller safety.
“No doubt, insurance companies are investigating how to deal with weather-related claims; and the idea of “weather derivatives” has been discussed as an option to compensate people for less-than-expected conditions.
“Will we soon be betting on what the weather will be like and gamble with mechanisms that give us a money-back guarantee?,” she questioned.
“Ranging from merely inconvenient travel disruptions (e.g. delayed flights due to storms) to severe danger when caught up in a cyclone, a flood or snowstorm, prospective travellers will become more aware of the dangers they could face when travelling to unfamiliar environments.”
Though it’s not all bad.
Becken offered the solution of more ‘staycations’
“If planned well, local tourism can generate multiple benefits also for small businesses and entrepreneurs, including those who offer services and experiences through the new sharing platforms.”
To see the full piece, click here.