Will climate change influence consumers' decision in opting for  cooler holiday destinations?


It was Sunday afternoon 9 August in a garden in a small village in the Netherlands. Because of the clammy heat, I had been looking for a shady spot and was googling how to keep a home cold in this heat wave.

Just before a drop of sweat fell from my forehead onto the screen of my tablet, my phone started to vibrate and make a hell of a noise. An NL-Alert! (The government´s alarm tool that warns and informs about an emergency in the Netherlands). `Yes, here it finally is!’ was my immediate thought… the first national warning due to a health-threatening situation – a five-day long super heatwave. However, it turned out to be a warning for the life-threatening riptide along the North Sea coast.

I am probably 20 years too early with my thought.

But it is clear to me that some day it is going happen: an NL-heat Alert. Despite the worry of advancing skin cancer – the sun still is  a phenomenal promotion and marketing tool for the travel industry but I fear climate change will deliver an even heavier and more crushing blow to the tourism industry than Covid-19. If we consider Covid-19 as a cough, then I see the increasing temperature as a heavy pneumonia as a metaphor for the consequences of climate change.

With temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius in Southern European countries, it even gets a little bit too hot for the biggest sun lovers. After the heat of the past period, most sceptics have to scratch their heads that global warming is a fact. It takes place. Now.

Tourism ministries and tourist offices must slowly but surely become aware that the climate will drastically affect tourism flows. Peak season months of July and August are becoming a thing of the past for many destinations due to extreme heat, tourists will strive to look for cooler places. If the sweltering heat will become a real headache for 50% of the travel sector, for the other half new markets and opportunities will open up. Soon we will be going to Scandinavia in the summer months, where it will become too busy again in the long term and by then we will look for other celestial objects for holidays.

`Does that boy suffer from heat stroke?´, I hear you thinking. Time will tell.