Skip to main content


Log in

Mapping the vulnerability of European summer tourism under 2 °C global warming

Climatic Change Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Summer tourism is one of the most important contributors to the European GDP especially for the southern countries and is highly dependent on the climatic conditions. Changes in average climatic conditions, along with the potential subsequent changes in the physical environment, will pose stress on the favorability of the climate of European destinations for tourism and recreational activities. Here, we study the vulnerability of summer-oriented tourism due to a global temperature increase by 2 °C relative to the preindustrial era. We use a well-defined framework of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity indicators for a set of plausible climate (RCPs) and socioeconomic (SSPs) combinations. Our result shows that a 2 °C global warming will pose substantial changes to the vulnerability of the European tourism sector. Despite the general increase in exposure, the vulnerability of summer tourism is highly depended on the socioeconomic developments (SSPs). Although exposure is higher for most of the popular southern European destinations like Spain, France, South Italy, southernmost Greece, and Cyprus, they are expected to be less vulnerable than others, under specific SSPs, due to their higher capacity to adapt to a different climate. The capacity to adapt is lower for higher emission scenarios. Substantial changes are also apparent at the subnational level. Countries like France are foreseen to experience very diverse impacts and vulnerabilities within their own territories that will have consequences in terms of domestic tourism. The dynamics of these changes are expected to alter the state of the current European tourism regime.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


Download references


We thank Prof. Antonio Russo for kindly providing ATTREG indicators. The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions to improve the quality of the paper.


The research leading to the results reported in this paper received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) IMPACT2C Project: Quantifying projected impacts under 2 °C warming, grant agreement no. 282746.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Aristeidis G. Koutroulis.

Electronic supplementary material


(DOCX 5738 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Koutroulis, A.G., Grillakis, M.G., Tsanis, I.K. et al. Mapping the vulnerability of European summer tourism under 2 °C global warming. Climatic Change 151, 157–171 (2018).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: