Climate change may raise Black Sea’s tourism potential

Current climate conditions of Black Sea show Mediterranean characteristics, with summer temperatures exceeding average, says expert

Research in climate change shows that the Black Sea can become an ideal location for tourists in the summer, offering an alternative to current trending routes, according to a study conducted at Bogazici University’s Center for Climate Change and Policy Studies.

Board members of the institution Nazan An and Mustafa Tufan Turp wrote an article on the tourism sector and climate change adaptation titled “Projected Summer Tourism Potential of the Black Sea Region.” The research reveals that the coasts of the Black Sea may be an alternative for tourism in the future,especially in cities such as Sakarya, Ordu Samsun, Trabzon, and Rize, as they all could have appropriate comfort levels of beach tourism in the summer.

Nazan An told Anadolu that the research started in the Black Sea Region to find alternative holiday destinations after popular summer routes had become unattractive due to the discomfort created by increased heatwaves.

An described how the effects of climate change vary depending on regions and sectors and that tourism may be one of the most affected sectors. She underlined that they conducted research under a pessimistic scenario, considering the near-medium term, covering the period between 2026 and 2050.

“Climate emerges as a factor that directly influences the decision-making process of tourists. The demand for tourism destinations and types change in correlation to the changes in the routine travel patterns,” she said.

“The Holiday Climate Index used in the study includes a thermal comfort index that considers relative humidity, temperature, and a sub-index called ‘aesthetics,’ which we call precipitation, wind speed and cloud cover. The study considers multiple climate variables and, as a result, provides more reliable information regarding tourist comfort,” she added.

An elaborated that the study includes two separate calculations, namely the “beach score” and the “urban score,” to evaluate the coastline and city areas separately.

‘Climate change adaptation planning in tourism must be comprehensive, considering all sector components’

An said that the current conditions in the Black Sea may improve in terms of tourism comfort, and the region may receive more visitors due to the impact of climate change on other destinations.

She noted that if adequate measures are not taken, the Aegean and Mediterranean touristic regions may face financial losses in the short and medium term.

She emphasized that determining alternative tourism routes should be considered as a solution in the adaptation process to climate change, saying:

“When we look at the current climate conditions of the Black Sea, the hottest month exceeds 22C (71.6F) on average temperature in some regions of the central and western Black Sea showing Mediterranean climate characteristics.”

She underlined that governments and countries should work together with scientists to determine policies that will help tackle the effects of climate change on tourism. An said,

“Climate change adaptation planning in the tourism sector must be comprehensive, considering all sector components to address challenges effectively. Sustainable tourism requires managing adaptation to climate change to safeguard existing destinations and promote environmentally harmonious solutions in alternative destinations.”

“Moving forward, climate change must be integrated into development plans comprehensively, addressing all its dimensions as it impacts every aspect of our lives,” she added.

‘Tourism seasons to shift, leading to temporal variations’

Tourist behavior can change when heat waves become a disaster, which can cause mass health problems, co-author of the study, Mustafa Tufan Turp, told Anadolu.

Turp emphasized the imperative need for tourism investments in the Black Sea region to prioritize sustainability, preserving natural beauty without causing harm and restoring degraded areas, saying:

“We must change our habits to adapt to climate change accordingly. Tourism seasons will shift, leading to temporal variations causing emphasis on diverse destinations catered to various tourism preferences, potentially prompting an increase in demand for experiences currently overlooked in certain regions.”

“Instead of saying, ‘let’s go to Antalya in August,’ we may start saying, ‘let’s go to Giresun or Sinop,’ and we will perhaps want to go to Antalya in the spring. In the coming years, maybe we will buy summer houses in the northern regions, such as the Black Sea Region,” he added.

Source: aa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button