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The Impact of Climate Change on Tourism in Spain
The tourism sector will be particularly affected by climate change, but there have been few studies specifying the impacts of climate change on tourism for a certain country. This paper considers the impacts of climate change on tourism in Spain. Tourism is a key economic sector in Spain, and it is strongly weather dependent. The paper analyses how the suitability of the Spanish climate for tourism will change, and how this will affect tourism flows to Spain. The suitability of the climate for tourists is expressed through an aggregated index, the TCI index. The impacts on tourist flows are modeled using a simple non-linear equation, calibrated on the basis of the current monthly tourism flows in Europe. The model shows that, ceterus paribus, climate change as forecasted with the Hadley model under the IPCC SRES A1 scenario would lead to a reduction of total annual tourist flow to Spain of 20% in 2080 compared to 2004. The effect would be entirely due to the much higher temperatures forecasted for the summer, which would make summer temperatures unpleasant for many tourists. In spring and autumn, there would be an increase in tourist flows.