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Impact of Climate Change on Trekking Tourism



(A Case Study of Perceptions from Ghandruk Village Development
Committee, Kaski District, Nepal)

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Nepal is
mountainous country where 8 of the 10 highest mountains in the world are
located. Mountaineering and other types of adventure tourism and eco-tourism
are important attraction for visitors. In 1949 the government of Nepal opened
its door to its mountains for the world to see and climb and within eight
years, ten of the fourteen, 8000m peaks have been concurred.

Since Nepal
opened its doors for the mountaineers of the world, many tourists and climbers
from all over the world travelled to this country and this was around the time,
when trekking tourism started evolving rapidly, and now has become integral
part of Nepalese tourism industry. Nepal is a mountainous country with lot of
diverse landscapes which makes it a heaven in itself. Trekking tourism being an
important part in sustaining the livelihood of many citizens and ensuring
social and economic growth to the society and eventually to the country, itself
as recorded in 2012, the number of tourist visiting Nepal has increased by
21.4% which was also Nepal tourism year.

change is a significant and lasting change in the distribution of weather
patterns over the periods ranging from decades to millions. Biotic process, solar
radiations, plate tectonics, volcanic eruptions being the key factor to the
climate change, anthropogenic activities being the main cause. Change in
hydrological cycle and depletion of water resources are some of the
environmental hazard that Nepal is facing right now in addition to global
warming. There is an estimated 4% yearly rise in temperature, resulting 70%
loss of snow and glacier areas due to loss of ice.






objective is to analyse the impacts of climate change in trekking tourism.




To explore
the stakeholders’ (trekking guides and tourism entrepreneurs) perception
regarding climate change in the tourism industry in Annapurna Conservation
Trekking area

To examine
their level of awareness as well as their participation in climate change
adaptation and mitigation.

To reveal
the environmental impact of trekking tourism in Annapurna Conservation Area.











According to
(Moreno 2010) climate and tourism has a very close relationship as the climate
of the land determines the number tourists visiting this country. This
relationship can be justified when we look close enough through the benefits
obtained through nature-based tourism and mountain tourism. Every sector has
its own benefits and affects. Greenhouse gas

Emission is
one effect that tourism industry lays which contributes eventually to climate
change. (Simpson, M.C. et al. (2008) says Increase in tourism industry means,
increase in transportations, accommodations, energy consumption resulting CO2
emission, global warming, increase in human emission of greenhouse gases
(ibid). In 2005 there was a 5% increase in global warming which was the
contribution of the tourism industry from Nepal. Climate has a great deal of
impact on the environment and its habitat, which at its natural beauty act as a
foundation to nature tourism.

In tourism
industry there are number of factor which has to be considered in order for the
industry as a whole to be flourished, some of the determining factors include
length and the quality of tourism, health of tourists and quality of tourism

 If we see close enough, all those factors
depend upon the climate of that area for the tourism industry to take its
course to achieve its economics benefits (Crouch, 1994; Lim et. al.., 2008 as
cited in Becken). Therefore, we can identify climate as a main factor for
tourists and an important destination attribute (Hu and Ritchie, 1992 as cited
in Becken). Climate is either the main resource.

To prove the
fact we can take an example of beach destination (kozak et al, 2008 as cited
inibid ) or as an mediator which after all makes tourism possible (Martin,
2005). If we go through the reports of IPCC, UNWTO, UNEP, and WTO we can see a
boarder perspective on tourism and climate change in relation to adoption and
mitigation in the developed world than in the less developed countries. (UNEP
et al, 2008).

There is
still a formal research left to do on the impacts of climate change on the
Himalayas and how this impacts tourism. The IPCC claims tourism to be one of
the essential industries in Asia but due to insufficient detailed research
there are still more mysteries to be discovered yet. (Cruz et al, 2007), nature
based tourism has proved to be an evolving tourism industry in Asia. Neupane
and Chhetri renowned Professors on the field have put on a question mark on the
possible fact that seasonality can affect tourism in different ways. We can
take on example as a creation of unlikely physical condition despite the right
weather (e.g. Absence on pleasure of snow. Rain and wind during travel. That
makes possible tourists preference to travel to places with enough snow rain
and wind to be able to do and enjoy the activity and feel the presence of
freshness and life in nature by observing through its eternal beauty and have
minimum disturbance and distractions.

The other
thing that should be considered is about the change in temperature and humidity
which can be a possible discomfort to the visitors and might affect their
expectations and possible satisfaction (de. Freita, 2003; Martin, 2005 as cited
in Neupane and Chhetri, 2009). The clouds can sometimes block the views to the
mountain and reduces the possible amount of people visiting that place again as
their planes get ruined due to climate change and the dissatisfaction leads to
reduced number of tourists impacting directly to the industry. (Neupane and
Chhetri 2009) There is no substantive change in annual and monsoon precipitation
in Nepal (APN, 2007, as cited in practical Action, 2010; Shrestha et. al.  2000 in practical action 2000). The number of
annual rainy days however has been decreasing during last 4 decades. (APN, 2007
as cited in practical Action, 2010).

Trekking is
the most popular tourism in Nepal. Survey suggests that about 43% of the total
tourists travelling Nepal go trekking through the most breathtaking landscapes
of Himalayas (MCTCA, 2004). Nepal offers nature based tourism Mountaineering, trekking,
white water rafting, Bungee jumping, paragliding, and safari tours are the most
popular tourism activities performed in Nepal, but due to the effects of the
climate change and as a result of global warming has raised a deep fear for the
reason to maintain it is natural shape and beauty and consequently its tourism
benefits. (Alam and Regmi, 2004) there is always a potential conflict in
maintaining the environment at its natural state and economic development
through tourism. This fact has pressured planners and decision makers to put up
a plan and

make an
approach that seek to make out the balance between the effects of climate
change on tourism and devour a plan to save our natural beauty by benefitting
from it by letting the world see it. ( Sanjay, k. 2000, p. 662) when we look at
the fact properly we can see it clear that developed countries are mostly
responsible for global warming and they need to take concrete steps and devise
a plan of action to reduce their greenhouse gas emission. If one of the
smallest countries and the poorest countries in the world like Nepal can
already feel the impact of climate change affecting one of our valuable industries
then we should globally acknowledge the fact of climate change and put out initiative
together to control it. (CEN, 2003)





Alam, M.,
and Regmi, B. R. (2004). Adverse impacts of climate change on development of
Nepal: Integrating adaptation into policies and activities. Dhaka: Bangladesh
Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS).

S. R., Mool, P. K., and Shrestha, B. R. (2007). Impact of climate change on
Himalayan glaciers and glacial lakes: Case studies on GLOF and associated
hazards in Nepal and Bhutan. Kathmandu: ICIMOD/UNEP/ROAP.

Becken, S.
(2010). The importance of climate and weather for tourism. Land environment and
people, Retrieved January 6, 2011 from view.pdf

Cruz, R.V.
et al. (2007). … In M. L. Parry et al. (eds.), Climate change 2007: Impacts,
adaptation and vulnerability (pp. 469-506). Cambridge: Cambridge University

Dhungel, K.
R. (2009). Nepal and climate change. Retrieved March 6, 2011 from

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CEN, 2003.
Climate Change: A Nepalese Perspective. CEN fact sheet 2. Clean Energy Nepal
(CEN), Kathmandu, Nepal.

(2008). Nepal stock taking report on climate change: National capacity
self-assessment for global environment management. Kathmandu: Government of
Nepal Ministry of Environment, Science & Technology, MOEST/UNDP/GEF.

Moreno, A.
(2010). Climate change and tourism: Impacts and vulnerability of coastal
Europe. Netherlands: Universitaire Pers Maastricht.

Tourism Board. (2011/12). Annual Operational Plan. Retrieved May 8, 2011 from 2011-12.pdf.

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tourism in the Nepalese Himalayas. Tourism Geographies, 95-119.

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P., and Thapa B. (2006). Perceptions of environmental impacts of tourism: A
case study at ACAP, Nepal. International Journal of Sustainable Development and
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Scott, D.
et al. (2008). Climate change and tourism: Responding to global challenges.

M.C. et al. (2008). Climate change adaptation and mitigation in the tourism
sector: Frameworks, tools and practices. Paris: UNEP, University of Oxford,


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