Tourism 4.0

Impact of natural disasters on tourism

The consequences of natural disasters often leave massive damages that can negatively affect all sectors of the economy, including tourism.

Despite the efforts of national and local authorities, tourism stakeholders can in many cases lose most of an entire ‘season’ or even a longer period as they try to recover and recuperate. To overcome these challenges, tourist destinations need all available resources to restore a safe environment for tourism as soon as possible, as well as the knowledge to make the best sustainable decisions, as recovery can take a long time.

We usually associate summer with relaxation, holidays and interesting trips, but this August brought devastating floods that affected a large part of Slovenia. These floods and other recent natural disasters in Europe and beyond are a vivid reminder of our vulnerability in the face of a rapidly changing environment, its impact on the places where we live and travel, and the need for an effective and timely response, including taking preventive measures. The first step to help the population in the affected areas is a rapid first response by all available emergency services, but this must also be followed by sustained support from the relevant authorities as part of a long-term economic recovery strategy.

A quick response is equally important for tourists and travellers in the affected area. In these difficult times, we have seen many inspiring examples of how local people and tourism stakeholders have taken care of tourists and travellers who found themselves in Slovenia during the worst of the floods. In such situations, we see that tourism destinations play an important role as a key stakeholder in maintaining the safety and confidence of tourists during natural disasters.

The Tourism 4.0 Partnership is committed to support stakeholders across the entire tourism ecosystem, so we are at your disposal with all our available knowledge and information to help ensure faster recovery and better resilience to emergencies.

We are calling on all tourism stakeholders to let us know their experiences – what are the issues you are struggling with and how can they be helped? We are happy to support you in your recovery and development. Write us!

Climate change not only affects the summer season, but also significantly affects winter destinations. The Beyond Snow project is developing a set of indicators that will help assess a destination’s ability to withstand and recover from various climate change stresses and shocks.