The Spanish tourism sector is facing a major risk factor: climate change. A study by Caixabank Research shows that climate change will reduce the growth of the tourism sector, a pillar of the Spanish economy that represents 12% of GDP, and warns that preparing for this challenge will be key to long-term progress. in the Spanish tourism sector.
In fact, the change in tourist habits can already be seen in this report. Tourist spending will almost double in 2023 compared to 2019 in cities with an average of 21 degrees, ten points above places with sweltering temperatures. This, along with the fact that 2023 will be the hottest year in the history of the planet since records began, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, is another key to what tourism in Spain has to face.
In addition, the study confirmed that spending by tourists falls by half an hour on the most intense hot days, from 12 to 5 in the afternoon. On the way, the hoteliers confirmed it. Javier has a restaurant on the beach in La Malvarrosa, and although the year is “very good,” he confesses that when it exceeds 40 degrees, it is difficult for him to fill the terrace, even if it is high season.
David César Neymann, coordinator of this report, recalled in an interview with Onda Cero that the European Commission determined that “in a scenario of a three-degree increase in summer, tourism will fall in Spain by 10%, and in a worse scenario of four degrees, it will fall to 15%.”.
“Between 2019 and 2023, there will be faster growth in tourism in more temperate areas of the country and slower growth in warmer areas,” he added, insisting that “if there are heat waves, tourists spend a little more.”
Due to these findings, it is important for the tourism sector to change and invest in adaptation strategies. This includes developing climate-resilient infrastructure, modifying tourism experiences to adapt to changing tourist preferences, and ensuring tourist comfort over a wide range of temperatures while promoting sustainable practices. which helps to reduce the contribution to climate change. global warming in the tourism sector.
“Climate change is beginning to have an impact on the Spanish tourism sector. It is very important that the sector responds and invests to remain attractive,” Neymann explained, giving some keys. “If there is a heat wave, tourists will spend more at night. We must ensure that they have a more attractive entertainment and popular restaurant in this time slot,” he warned. It also suggests that coastal destinations promote water sports and that land destinations ensure entertainment within the area.