Sustainability and Emerging Awareness of a Changing Climate: The Tourism Industry’s Knowledge and Perceptions of the Future of Nature-based Winter Tourism in Finland –
Jarkko Saarinen and Kaarina Tervo Introduction The issue of climate has always been important in tourism but recently its role has emerged as one of the most urgent issues in tourism research, development and policy. With links to sustainability, regional and product development it perhaps represents the most timely theme in tourism studies today (see Bramwell and Lane 2008). Most tourism activities are directly dependent on climate and weather (Abegg 1996), and thus the global process of climate change will most probably have an impact on all kinds of tourism by changing, among others, travel and tourist destination patterns, tourist decision-making, product development and public perceptions concerning travelling (Lise and Tol 2002; Gössling and Hall 2006). However, some forms, activities and regions of tourism are more sensitive to changes in climate than others. In particular nature-based tourism and winter (snow-based) tourism, which are the focus of this chapter, are seen to be vulnerable because the activities are produced in natural or semi-natural environments where natural conditions and their quality play an important role.