Travel and Global Warming

Jun 2014

After this weeks posts, you might be asking yourself how does all this affect me? How do Travel and Global Warming go hand in hand?   Close your eyes and take your self to your favorite destination…

great harbor cay bahamas

It might be a sandy beach, it might be a cabin in the Swiss Alps, or perhaps the streets of Italy surrounding the Duomo in Florence.  Maybe you’ve transported your self to the Maldives or a tiny little island called Kiribati, in the South Pacific.


The point is, no matter where you have taken your mental trip , the beach could be flooded, the cabin crushed by an avalanche , the streets flooded by the Po river, or the smog so intense that the cappuccino you are nursing no longer has much appeal.  Even worse, the Maldives are underwater and the tiny island of Kiribati no longer exists.  Not a pretty picture. Perhaps this won’t all happen in our lifetime, but they are all real possibilities which could spell heartbreak for the travel industry.

“Tourism is an industry harmed by any harm to the environment. Period,” says Bill Maloney, executive vice president of the American Society of Travel Agents in Alexandria. “Global warming is definitely on our radar screen of concerns.”Any damage to the environment damages the tourism industry. Everything from walking tours in our beloved cities to safaris and birdwatching  in regions around the world is at risk.

Unusual weather patterns have disrupted travel to the Serengeti. It’s raining during the dry season and temperatures and storms have been extreme. Areas of  Africa’s Kilimanjaro are off limits now because of glacier ice melt, some of which was caused by this warming. Who knows? Around the planet, we see dryness in wet seasons and rain in dry seasons, weird temperatures and weird storms. You need a PHD in meteorology just to get your bags packed for an extended vacation. What gear, how much will the temperatures fluctuate?  

Without getting too self-righteous {as I admit to letting my fair share of carbon into the atmosphere}, I would like to challenge you, dear readers, to think about cause and effect.  Think about trash, recycling, what and where you eat and supporting local where you live and when you travel.  Our dollars have impact.  Consider the train, public transportation and avoiding gas guzzling activities.  The international eco tourism  society has much information for digging deeper into this topic.

Have any of your travel plans been dramatically disrupted by extreme weather?

  1. noel says:

    Yes there is so much to do and acknowledge to be responsible for local or foreign travel and support those industries that try to offset any of those negative effects by producing locally, conserving energy and minimizing waste.

    • alison says:

      Noel-we can all add our dose of support and try to increase awareness. Half the battle is just making people think about it when planning travel.