The market for climate services in the tourism sector – An analysis of Austrian stakeholders’ perceptions
Climate Services , 2/2019
Climate services (CS) are promoted as a means to support decision-makingprocesses in order to better prepare and adapt to the risks and opportunities of climate variability and change. The current market for CS is still in its early stages. In this paper, we report the findings from our recent investigation into the actual and potential market for CS in the Austrian tourism sector. In close collaboration with tourism stakeholders and CS providers, we explored main barriers hampering the actual use and effectiveness of climate services and identified potential drivers to support further product development and widespread uptake of CS.
Despite the high vulnerability of tourism to climate variability and change, the actual use of CS among Austrian tourism stakeholders is rather limited. The main barriers to the use of CS in tourism include wide-spread low levels of risk awareness, a certain degree of risk denial, a lacking sense of urgency due to (yet still) little financial pressure, and rather short business decision cycles, which lead to a low prioritization of climate issues. Furthermore, lack of knowledge of existing services and their benefits, lack of applicability, and distrust in climate services restrict their use.
Recommendations for an enhanced uptake of CS thus include the improved demonstration and communication of their added value. In addition, the market would benefit from an increase in intermediaries who bridge the gap between research and applicability. It is further recommended to increasingly integrate climate information into existing services and products already in use.
Keywords: Climate services, Tourism, Market development, Climate change adaptation