Modelling Climate Change Impacts on Tourism Demand: A Comparative Study from Sardinia (Italy) and Cap Bon (Tunisia)
Tourism represents an important source of income and employment in many Mediterranean regions, including the island of Sardinia (Italy) and the Cap Bon peninsula (Tunisia). Climate change may however impact tourism in both regions, for example, by altering the regions' climatic suitability for common tourism types or affecting water availability. This paper assesses the potential impacts of climate change on tourism in the case study regions of Sardinia and Cap Bon. Direct impacts are studied in a quantitative way by applying a range of climate scenario data on the empirically estimated relationship between climatic conditions and tourism demand, using two different approaches. Results indicate a potential for climate-induced tourism revenue gains especially in the shoulder seasons during spring and autumn, but also a threat of climate-induced revenue losses in the summer months due to increased heat stress. Annual direct net impacts are nevertheless suggested to be (slightly) positive in both case study regions. Significant climate-induced reductions in total available water may however somewhat counteract the positive direct impacts of climate change by putting additional water costs on the tourism industry.
Keywords: Cap Bon, Climate change impacts;, Regression analysis, Sardinia, Tourism, Weather-Value-at-Risk