Tourism The Netherlands
Tourism in numbers - Europe
Europe is the most important tourist region in the world. According to UNWTO, in 2006 nearly 55% of all international tourist arrivals (461 million) were on the “old continent”.Southern Europe and the Mediterranean region are the favourite holiday destinations in Europe. According to UNWTO, in 2006 about 165 million tourists visited these regions (4).
At present, the predominant summer tourist flows in Europe are from north to south, to the coastal zone. However, coastal and mountain tourism are the segments that are most vulnerable to climate change, and the Mediterranean region is the world's most popular holiday region: it attracts some 120 million visitors from northern Europe each year, the largest international flow of tourists on the globe, and their spending is in excess of EUR 100 billion (2).
Tourism in numbers - The Netherlands
The Benelux countries have lower-than-average dependency on tourism, which generates about 8% of GDP. In these countries, city and cultural tourism, which is not climate dependent, is predominant. Climate change can be expected to have positive effects on tourism in these countries overall (4).
Vulnerabilities – In general
There are four broad categories of climate change impacts that will affect tourism destinations, their competitiveness and sustainability (3):
- Direct climatic impacts
- Indirect environmental change impacts. Changes in water availability, biodiversity loss, reduced landscape aesthetic, altered agricultural production (e.g., wine tourism), increased natural hazards, coastal erosion and inundation, damage to infrastructure and the increasing incidence of vector-borne diseases will all impact tourism to varying degrees.
- Impacts of mitigation policies on tourist mobility. Policies that seek to reduce GHG emissions will lead to an increase in transport costs and may foster environmental attitudes that lead tourists to change their travel patterns.
- Indirect societal change impacts. Climate change is thought to pose a risk to future economic growth and to the political stability of some nations. Climate change is considered a national and international security risk that will steadily intensify, particularly under greater warming scenarios. Tourists, particularly international tourists, are averse to political instability and social unrest.
Vulnerabilities - The Netherlands
The temperature is likely to rise further in the Netherlands, thereby extending the summer season and, consequently, increasing the possibilities for tourism and recreation. The Netherlands will likely become a more attractive destination for foreign tourists. The Dutch will probably be more inclined to spend their holidays in their own country (1).
Climate change will likely enhance the growing demand for recreation and wildlife areas. The higher temperature of shallow (swimming) water poses potential health risks due to a possible increase in the occurrence of pathogenic micro organisms (1).
The positive effect of the good weather in a dry year on the number of day trippers was found to be much greater than the possible negative effect of a deterioration in the water quality: in an extremely dry year the number of day trippers increases by 40% relative to an average year, whereas the number of day trippers decreases by about 4% for all of the years calculated due to a lower water quality. The employment opportunities in the recreation sector exhibit the same patterns as the number of day trippers: employment opportunities are more sensitive to the weather situation than to the water quality (1).
Benefits - the Netherlands
Climate change may have a net positive effect on the overall European potential for tourism: up to 59 million bed nights more or some 8% of the total of 777 million nights registered for 2005 in a study on 29 countries (5). Additional potential revenues could be in the order of 4–18 billion euros.
The changes are likely to be unequally spread across Europe, however. The year-round potential for tourism increases most in the northern parts of Europe, including the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, and in Austria. In the southern countries, there is evidence for a net loss of potential, although improvements in the spring and autumn seasons are likely to offset a significant share of the deteriorations in summer. In particular Austria and the UK enjoy significant gains in relative terms, whereas Italy and Spain face the largest losses (5).
Adaptation strategies – In general
Climate change is slowly entering into decision-making of a range of tourism stakeholders (e.g., investors, insurance companies, tourism enterprises, governments, and tourists); studies that have examined the climate change risk appraisal of local tourism officials and operators have consistently found relatively low levels of concern and little evidence of long-term strategic planning in anticipation of future changes in climate (3).
There is also some evidence that local tourism operators may be overestimating their adaptive capacity (e.g., capacity to make snow under the warmest scenarios). The incorporation of adaptation to climate change into the collective minds of private and public sector tourism decision-makers (‘mainstreaming’) remains several steps away (3).
The capacity of the tourism sector to adapt to climate change is thought to be relatively high due to its dynamic nature and therefore there will be important opportunities for tourism to reduce the vulnerability of communities to climate change (3).
The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for the Netherlands.
- Bresser (2006)
- EEA, JRC and WHO (2008)
- UNWTO, UNEP and WHO (2008)
- Deutsche Bank Research (2008)
- Amelung and Moreno (2012)