The countries most dependent on tourism are at the highest risk in connection with climate change. Such a forecast from the World Travel and Tourism Council is broadcast by the tourism media. In particular, the Middle East may be at risk – from Egypt, Israel and Jordan and further to the countries of the Persian Gulf. The reason is rising temperatures, lack of water and natural disasters that threaten with climate change.
In Egypt, experts say “rising temperatures” have already damaged even some of the famous monuments in Luxor and changed the color of archaeological stones. The famous resorts of the Red Sea and the coral reefs of Egypt, popular with divers, have so far escaped the wrath of climate change, but as temperatures rise, the natural conditions in the Red Sea risk becoming extreme – neither people nor corals can survive in such heat.
In Jordan, where tourism is one of the main sources of foreign exchange and the second largest employer, the situation is already frightening – drought leads to a lack of water. The same Dead Sea, for example, is shrinking by more than a meter a year, its coastline is receding. The water level in the Jordan River is also declining – now it is a “muddy stream”, experts write.
Water in these conditions carries another danger – in November 2018, rare heavy rains flooded Petra, a valuable Jordanian tourist attraction and site UNESCO World Heritage Site, which forced the evacuation of nearly 4,000 tourists. Fortunately, no one died – but similar incidents have repeatedly led to casualties, including in neighboring Israel.
“The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction predicts a 40 percent increase in the number of natural disasters worldwide over the next decade. At last month's World to Travel Forum, held in Nimes, France, Paola Albrito, the new director of the UN office, estimated that by 2030 there will be about 560 disasters per year, and each one will be “bigger and more expensive” . than what we are experiencing now”, – climatologists assure.
However, nothing scares away tourists yet. Qatar has gathered a lot of tourists for the World Cup, Egypt, Jordan and even Saudi Arabia are growing above the “pre-pandemic” rates, and in general, the World Travel and Tourism Council predicts that by 2030 tourism will grow at an average of 11% per year, which will make its fastest growing sector in the Middle East.
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