Impacts of climate change and variability on tourism in western Newfoundland

Rada, Paulina (2009) Impacts of climate change and variability on tourism in western Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Gros Morne National Park and Marble Mountain are primary attractions for tourists who enjoy outdoor activities. Ideal weather conditions can be defined for outdoor recreational activities during the summer or winter seasons. Climate change and variation influence the length of recreational seasons. The connections between changes and variations in climate conditions and outdoor activities were investigated using meteorological records and the linear trends of these parameters as measures of climate change and variation. Four weather stations were analysed as representative for Western Newfoundland: Daniel's Harbour, Deer Lake, Corner Brook and Stephenville. The mean parameters analysed were mean temperature, mean maximum and minimum temperature, total precipitation, snowfall, wind direction and wind speed monthly values. Daily mean maximum temperature, total precipitation, speed of maximum wind gust, snow on the ground, and hourly visibilities affect the suitability of conditions for outdoor activities. -- Overall, the regional pattern shows a general temperature increase since 1933, most evident in summer and spring. Seasonally, winters recorded the highest variability in the number of warm and cold years. Spring, summer, and autumn recorded periods of strong variability of mean temperature between the early 1950s and mid-1990s. Prior to 1998-2007, the mean maximum and minimum temperature showed substantial variation. All temperature parameters showed general increases in the decade 1998-2007. -- All four sites show increases in precipitation and snowfall in all seasons throughout the available data series since 1933. Although in general summer outdoor activities show an increase of suitability for hiking and boat touring, differences between locations are dictated by wind speed and the number of days without precipitation. The tendency of variability of snow cover has a negative impact on snowmobiling and cross-country and back-country skiing. Although there is a general decline in snow cover duration, the data show substantial variability. For instance, the record at Daniel's Harbour in 1964 showed 141 days with snow cover, and in the following year there was a record 205 days with snow cover. -- Landscape touring remains a viable alternative for tourism under warmer summers and winters. Although evidence of climate change can be assessed by tourism operators, for planning and adaptation, increasing climate variability has potentially negative consequences for tourism, making planning outdoor recreational activities more difficult for both visitors and operators.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9214
Item ID: 9214
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 186-194)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: 2009
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador, Western
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Climatic changes--Newfoundland and Labrador, Western; Tourism; Seasonal variations--Newfoundland and Labrador, Western

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