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Weather preferences of French tourists: lessons for climate change impact assessment

Abstract

Tourism has complex relationships with weather and climate, and there is consensus that tourism could be substantially affected by climatic change. While considerable research has been presented on how climatic change is likely to affect destinations and tourism stakeholders in the future, there remains limited understanding of the weather preferences of tourists. This is a research priority if the implications of climatic change for the temporal and geographic patterns of tourism demand are to be assessed with more relevance. This paper presents the results of a survey (n = 1643 respondents) of the weather preferences of French tourists. Results show the ranking of weather and climate as a factor of destination choice and satisfaction. They also indicate the high tolerance of tourists to heat and even to heat waves, whereas rainy conditions appear to be clearly repulsive. The weight of precipitation in indices like the Tourism Comfort Index should therefore be upgraded. The findings are also compared with studies in other countries. Slight differences in similar surveys can lead to a discrepancy in the appreciation of excessive heat and associated thresholds by 2–3 °C, which might limit the possibility to base climate change impact assessment on such fragile data.

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Notes

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    Note that winter sports were practically excluded by the timing of the enquiry

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Correspondence to Ghislain Dubois.

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Dubois, G., Ceron, JP., Gössling, S. et al. Weather preferences of French tourists: lessons for climate change impact assessment. Climatic Change 136, 339–351 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-016-1620-6

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Keywords

  • Heat Wave
  • Destination Choice
  • Urban Tourism
  • Tourism Demand
  • Climate Change Impact Assessment