may have to take Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Croatia’s
Dalmatian Coastline off their destination wish list. Climate change and
tourism damage mean that, like the Seven Wonders of the World, certain
sites and attractions could be in danger of disappearing by 2020.
The Future of Travel Report*,
by travel insurer Churchill, assesses the future prospects of today’s
travel destinations. It reveals that World Heritage sites and other tourist
destinations popular today, may be permanently closed or restricted by
visitor capping or will remain at risk of irreparable damage.
Areas of environmental and
historical significance such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Everglades
or Kathmandu Valley, are likely to have reached visitor capacity by 2020.
Such destinations may opt to minimise visitor numbers by continually raising
entry costs or by charging additional taxes. It is likely that some destinations
will go as far as to introduce visitor capping where travellers will either
have to ‘win’ or ‘earn’ the right to holiday in a
particular place via a holiday lottery.
Some tourist areas, particularly
those which involve long haul flights from the UK, may require travellers
to store up ‘air mile credits’ based on their personal needs
and their overall energy use. Additionally, the social contributions that
travellers put back into the communities they visit, may be considered
before being granted visitation rights to a particular destination.
The report, issued in conjunction
with think tank The Centre for Future Studies, reveals the top ten places
that are at risk as holiday destinations by 2020:
Mazarron (South-Eastern Spain)
has already resurfaced in Spain and parts of the country may become
suitable habitat for malaria-bearing mosquitos. Flash floods, heat
stress and forest fires may also become more prevalent.
area of swamps, marshes and lakes is designated 'at risk' particularly
in light of increasing hurricane danger.
in summer temperatures to above 40C will reduce personal comfort and
lead to more heat stress and associated mortality.
A combination of high
temperatures and scarce water supplies will have an impact on Crete.
Creeping desertification may severely impact the landscape there.
designated an 'at risk' sightseeing spot, environmental pollution
may irreparably damage this monument where the repair work is on-going.
unspoilt Mediterranean coastline - of pristine waters, mediaeval towns
and unspoilt beaches - may not survive the forecasted explosion in
‘at risk’ area with its unique architecture set against
the Himalayan peaks, holiday-makers should get there before the Himalayan
ski market takes hold.
||One of the
world's largest marine ecosystems is at risk from increasing visits
from cruise ships.
of heat waves is forecast to rise dramatically, suffering unbearably
hot and humid nights. The region will be at increasing risk of fire,
seeing at least 20 more dry days per year.
zones that support the tourist trade will suffer from beach erosion.
More powerful cyclones are also predicted raising the probability
of wind damage and coastal flooding.
a rise in sea level would cause coastal erosion in the Maldives, and
at worst a sizeable proportion of the landmass could become submerged.
The coral reefs could also be destroyed.
The Report into the Future
of Travel was prepared on behalf of Churchill Travel Insurance by The
Centre for Future Studies in January 2006