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Resilient Tourism. Preparing for extreme weather and climate change in the South West. South West Adaptation Response. Regional partnership funded by a range of public and private organisations. Climate SouthWest focuses on climate change impacts and adaptation. Its mission is:

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resilient tourism

Resilient Tourism

Preparing for extreme weather and climate change in the South West

south west adaptation response
South West Adaptation Response
  • Regional partnership funded by a range of public and private organisations
  • Climate SouthWest focuses on climate change impacts and adaptation. Its mission is:
  • To help the South West of England to adapt sustainably to the impacts of climate change
climate southwest funders
Climate SouthWest Funders

chairs Climate SouthWest’s Tourism Sector Group. New business members welcome!

presentation outline
Presentation Outline
  • The Science of Climate Change:a brief overview
  • Extreme Weather: the SW is already vulnerable
  • Future Climate Change:what can the SWexpect?
  • Tourism in the SW:why climate change matters
  • Preparing for Climate Change:the business case
  • Taking Action:how can businesses adapt?
  • Conclusion and resources to support businesses
weather and climate

= the average weather in a locality over a 30 year period


= what it is doing outside right now

Weather and Climate
observed changes in the sw
Observed changes in the SW
  • Between 1961 and 2006…
      • Ave. summer temp. increased by1.41 °C
      • Max. summer temp. increased by1.65 °C
      • Summer precipitation decreased by8.8%
      • Winter precipitation increased by15.9%
      • Autumn precipitationincreased by 28.6%
  • Sea Level in Newlyn has risen 20 cm since 1920
  • 9 out of the past 10 years have now brought serious flooding to the UK
  • Globally, the 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1997
global temperature increase
Global Temperature Increase

Source: Met Office Hadley Centre (2010)

some change is inevitable
Some change is inevitable

IPCC Emission Scenarios




World Stabilisation Scenario

Peak in emissions at

2016 followed by an

annual decrease of 4%

We are locked into some change because of past emissions

Start to diverge from 2030-40


Temp rise is difference from 1750


reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2)


preparing for the unavoidable impacts of climate change

© Environment Agency

Extreme Weather:

The South West is vulnerable to the existing climate

2004 flash flooding boscastle
2004 flash flooding - Boscastle
  • Intense rainfall and topography = rapid rising of river levels
  • 7 Helicopters airlifted 100 people
  • 29 out of the 31 Cornwall County Fire Brigade Stations were involved
  • Infrastructure damage = up to £2 million
  • Tourist centre out of action

Photo by PamDurrant

2007 floods gloucestershire
2007 floods - Gloucestershire
  • 1 000s homeless
  • 350 000 without water for up to 17 days
  • 42 000 without power for 42 hours
  • 10 000 people trapped on M5 and railways
  • £14.3M - emergency repair and response costs for Gloucestershire businesses
  • Businesses out of action for months!!
  • (Pitt Review, 2008)

Slad Road, Stroud (Bernard Wakefield-Heath) 23.7.07


2008 tidal flooding - Poole

© Environment Agency

2003 heatwave bournemouth poole
2003 Heatwave – Bournemouth & Poole
  • High temperatures (31+°C) attract record numbers of visitors
  • Accommodation full
  • 20% more traffic than usual
  • Pollution more than double Gov. Health Limit
  • 700 parking tickets issued over weekend
  • Emergency vehicles access blocked

© Bournemouth Tourism

The temperatures during the 2003 heatwave are likely to become normal in summer by the 2040s

2006 heatwave somerset
2006 Heatwave - Somerset
  • Bouncy castle out of action because rubber was burning people
  • Risks to health
    • “Heat wave leads to ozone pollution in district” (South Somerset District Council, 4 July 2006)
    • Increase in elderly patients admitted to A&E Weston General Hospital for dehydration
  • Transport disruption:
    • - Higher visitor numbers = increased traffic
    • Tarmac melted
  • Incr. in tourism between 14th & 21st July - 7161 compared with 3527 in 2005
  • Visitor discomfort

© Somerset Tourism

Future Climate Change:

What can the SW expect?

warmer summers
Warmer summers

Increased Tourism

Increased Heat stress

Infrastructure risks

Risks to biodiversity

Heat related deaths

Risk to Food Security

Map showing average summer temperature change, medium emissions scenario, 2080s

But the temperature on the hottest day of the year could increase by up to 10ºC

South-West England central estimate

Medium emissions

By the 2080s the change is very unlikely to be cooler than +2.1ºC or hotter than +6.4ºC


drier summers on average
Drier summers (on average!)

Reduced stream flow and water quality

Increased drought

Potential benefits for tourism


Serious water stress

Decreased crop yields

South West England

central estimate

Medium emissions

Map showing average summer precipitation change, medium emissions scenario, 2080s

By the 2080s the change is very unlikely to drier than -49% or wetter than +6%


wetter milder winters
Wetter, milder winters

Increased winter flooding

Increased subsidence

Risks to urban drainage

Severe Transport disruption

Risks of national Infrastructure

Map showing average winter precipitation change, medium emissions scenario, 2080s

South West

central estimate

Medium Emissions

By the 2080s the change is very unlikely to be drier than +6% or wetter than +54%



Weston-super-Mare: 12 cm

Newlyn: 13 cm

Poole: 12 cm



Weston-super-Mare: 26 cm

Newlyn: 29 cm

Poole: 26 cm

Rising sea levels


Increased coastal flooding

Reduction in size of some beaches

Changes to biodiversity

Increased erosion e.g. to coastal footpaths

© Environment Agency

Figures shown are at the 50% probability level, high emissions

Note. Global average sea level rise:

1961-2003 = 1.8mm/year;

1993-2003 = 3.1mm/year (IPCC, 2007)


More frequent and intense weather eventsi.e. Floods, Droughts and Heatwaves


Damage to properties

Disruption to deliveries

Delays to visitors

Health risks for staff and visitors

Drought impact on green outdoor spaces

© Environment Agency

© Environment Agency

© Environment Agency

© Environment Agency

a changing climate
A Changing Climate

By the 2040s, the South West can expect:

  • Hotter, drier summers:
    • 2.3oC warmer (2003 heatwave = 2.3 above ave.)
    • 13% drier
  • Wetter, warmer winters:
    • 14% wetter
  • Sea level rise:
    • Up to 20cm
  • More extreme events:
    • flash flooding
    • droughts
    • heat waves
Tourism in the SW:

Why climate change matters

the value of tourism in the sw
The value of tourism in the SW
  • Resident population of 5.2 million
  • 21.2 million staying and 96.8 million day visitors in 2008
  • £9 billion to the economy annually (08) – approx 8% of GVA
  • Supports approx 300,000


weather is a key factor for tourism
Weather is a key factor for tourism
  • 55% of respondents to SW Visitors Survey (2009) in Poole stated their choice of destination was influenced by the weather
  • Extreme weather events can affect visitor numbers

- Occupancy levels in Bournemouth incr. in 2003 (Heatwave year)

- Occupancy levels in Gloucestershire decr. in 2007 (Flood year)

(see SW Tourism UKCP09 Case Study, 2010)

  • Lack of certainty re: the weather can be a reason for people not to visit the SW

- “Whatever money I have nowadays I put towards a holiday with guaranteed sunshine rather than risk it on holidays in England”

(Quote from Non-Visitor Study April 2009)

climate risks for tourism
Climate risks for tourism
  • 20% of community feel their area already receives more visitors than it can cope with
  • Increased insurance costs
  • Staff and visitor health and safety
  • Increased pressure on the environment
  • Flooding
  • Increased pressure on transport infrastructure
  • Coastal locations threatened by sea level rise and increased erosion
  • Damage to historic buildings and other heritage sites/visitor attractions

© Environment Agency

climate opportunities for tourism
Climate opportunities for tourism
  • Potentially longer season
  • Job creation
  • Diversification
  • Tourism in ‘off peak’ periods
  • Reduced winter heating costs
  • New market opportunities for certain products and services

Attitudes to preparing for climate change (SW Tourism Business Survey 2010)

  • 65% believe climate change could lead to increased
  • extreme weather
  • 59% think businesses need to adapt
  • Those who had already been affected were more likely
  • to see preparing for a change a medium to high priority
  • than those who hadn’t
  • 47% see preparing for change as a low priority or not a
  • priority at all
attitudes quotes from businesses sw tourism business survey 2010
Attitudes – Quotes from businesses(SW Tourism Business Survey 2010)

Some are aware of the issues:

  • Our particular business is small and whatever will affect it, as far as climate change is concerned, will affect us too, so we are gradually making changes, as we need them ourselves.

Others do not see a challenge, or do not believe they will be affected:

  • Bring on global warming and let's have some hot summers! Rev those engines and let’s get cooking!
  • I have read leaflets etc and aware of consequences but think at the moment there is little for me to do e.g. unless there’s a landslide flooding no problem as I live on a hill

Others recognise the issues, but see preparing as a low priority:

  • One day it will get more attention from me...lack the time at the moment, though I'm sure a catastrophe would focus the mind!
the business case insurance
The Business Case: Insurance

In the SW, a 2°C rise could increase annual insured flood losses by 19%

- leading to a potential pricing increase of up to 16%.

A 4°C rise could increase losses by 29%

- leading to a potential pricing increase of up to 27%.

‘The Financial Risks of Climate Change’ (ABI, 2009)

Key messages for businesses:

  • Climate adaptation is likely to become part of insurance criteria
  • Well prepared businesses could save money on premiums
  • Unprepared businesses may not secure insurance cover
the business case reputation
The Business Case: Reputation
  • Growing awareness
    • 69% cite flooding as one of the most common effects of climate change
    • Businesses need to show they care and are ahead of the game

© Environment Agency

  • Responsible business
    • - Reputation as employer
    • Reputation to customers
    • People care

© Environment Agency


The Business Case

  • Avoiding unexpected costs:
    • Business interruption
    • Damage costs
    • Increased insurance premiums
    • Future regulation, litigation or liabilities
  • Exploiting opportunities:
    • Expanding / new markets due to changing customer demands
    • Reputation, being a market leader
Taking Action:

How can businesses adapt?


Adaptation = Risk Management

© Environment Agency

© Environment Agency


Changes to climate

Weather events



Adaptation requires knowledge of your:



preparing for change top tips
Preparing for change - Top Tips
  • Plan ahead
  • Check your insurance
  • Practical actions
  • Raise awareness
  • Review Health & Safety procedures

© Environment Agency

  • Identify the effects to your business
  • Check your flood risk
  • Get help and advice
  • Learn from others
  • Reduce risk

© Mark Christopher

visitor communications
Visitor Communications
  • Tell your customers about what you are doing to keep them safe
  • Opportunities

– potentially hotter drier summers

may encourage more ‘stay-cations’

  • Think about, and communicate what your visitors may need e.g. sun protection

© Bournemouth Tourism

flood case study old mill hotel bath
Flood Case Study: Old Mill Hotel, Bath
  • Temporary flood boards
  • ‘Tanked’ the underneath of the restaurant – i.e. sealed it
  • Management training

© Old Mill Hotel

  • The laundry store was moved from the basement
  • Close contact is kept with the Environment Agency to monitor the risk
  • Catering facilities and staff are prepared - able to move a second kitchen and function room upstairs
drought case study high post golf club wiltshire
Drought Case Study: High Post Golf Club, Wiltshire
  • Drought-resistant grasses
  • Water allocation process uses less water
  • Likelihood of disease reduced – less fungicide needed
  • Increased reputation – recognised as ‘on course for sustainability’
  • Member support gained through open forum

“Plan for future climate change and don’t be frightened to bang the drum and get some publicity for being pro-active – it’s usually free marketing!”

Peter Hickling, High Post manager

© High Post Golf Club

case study the scarlet mawgan porth
Case Study: The Scarlet, Mawgan Porth
  • ‘Sea Thrift’ green roof:
    • Helps keep the building cool in summer, warm in winter
    • Supports biodiversity in insects and butterflies
  • Water efficiency measures:
    • Grey water (recycled from bedroom sinks & baths) used to flush toilets
    • Natural swimming pool uses rainwater and requires no chlorination
    • Rainwater is used for landscaping and to top up the natural pool
    • Green landscaping & soakaway - reduces run-off, decreasing flood-risk & has a cooling effect

© The Scarlet

case study glastonbury festival
Case Study: Glastonbury Festival
  • Drainage systems improved
  • Festival tents are tied down in

case of windy weather

  • Welfare officers to look after people in the event of flooding, high temperatures or storms

“We were very lucky that we didn't have people drown when we had six foot of water in our campsite.

So you have to learn from this and you have to adapt, otherwise your business may not survive.”

Robert Kearle, Environmental Manager,

Following severe floods in 2005 steps to increase resilience were taken, including:

case study slapton line partnership
Case study: Slapton Line Partnership

Coastal erosion means that the coastal road can only be maintained for a maximum of 30 -50 years

  • Adaptation measures include:
  • Signage for alternative routes
  • Contingency plan for road closures
  • Emphasising attraction of nature reserve
  • Business Forum to discuss challenges and opportunities
Conclusion and

resources to support businesses

  • Preparing for extreme weather is a ‘now’ issue
  • We need to plan for current and future vulnerability
  • Planning proactively will be more cost effective than reacting
  • Opportunities and benefits for those who are resilient and able to adapt

© Environment Agency

  • A business risk like any other and should be managed accordingly
www climateprepared com

Preparing for Change:

climate-proof your tourism business

changing climate changing business dvd
“Changing Climate – Changing Business” DVD

A short film featuring 11 tourism businesses in the SW who are taking action to adapt to climate change

A full 20 minute version and a 6 minute summary version available at:

other resources
Caravan and campsite flood risk management pack

Business Areas Climate Impacts Assessment Tool

‘Changing Climate Changing

Business’ DVD

Online toolkit for tourism businesses

Case Studies

preparing for flooding
Preparing for flooding

More information and links to the tools and full case studies shown are available at

Contact Climate SouthWest on tel: 01392 352230 or e: