Sink or Swim? – Does The UK Need a Lifebuoy To Save Its Coasts From Drowning?
12th March 2021
Picture this, you are on holiday at your favourite Southern UK coastal destination. But behind your enjoyment the destination is slowly deteriorating. This is the sad reality of today’s world.
Climate change is moving to the forefront of our minds thanks to the likes of David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg.
Do you realize the catastrophic impacts climate change is having to your favourite UK holiday destinations?
- The tourism industry accounts for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- The industry is growing at an annual rate of 5% – telling a worrying tale.
- Sea levels are currently rising at a rate of 1/8 a year.
- According to the Met Office, The UK’s 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2002.
- Coastal erosion is occurring along 30% of England’s coastline.
It is time to actively acknowledge climate change, its impacts, and the solutions we can all pursue.
Climate Change on a Global Scale
Various coastal destinations around the world are beginning to experience severe affects due to the rise in climate change. There are increased wave heights which have contributed and accelerated coastal erosion. Rising ocean temperatures are contributing to a loss of valuable ecosystems and marine life due to the acidification of the water.
- Soon Miami’s beautiful beaches will be washed away.
- Australia’s Great Barrier Reef will be bleached by acidic sea water becoming uninhabited baren land.
You can start propelling the way our tourism infrastructure is built, improving our global communication of the possible risks and impacts of climate change.
The Problem Hits Closer To Home
Climate change is happening today! Environmentalists including Prince Charles are calling for swift action. Some of Britain’s favourite seaside holiday destinations are drowning in despair, if we do not grab onto that lifebuoy our picturesque seaside holiday dreams will be swept out to sea.
Tourists are starting to value and appreciate what is right on our doorstep.
- Staycations have increased by 127% in July 2020.
- Did you know coastal tourism contributes eight billion to our economy?
Coastal tourism is increasing the levels of pollution. Our sea levels are rising, leading to our popular resorts crumbling before our very eyes.
- Slapton sands has become cut off due to coastal erosion.
- Dawlish saw its main transportation link swept out to sea.
- Litter and our carbon footprint have caused devastation to our stunning landscape and nature, arguably the fundamental reason for visiting our coastal regions.
Coastal destinations will cease to exist if we continue to abuse them through over tourism. It will become a shipwreck once loved and now destroyed becoming a figment of our imagination.
You may think this is not a significant issue. But, we cannot keep blissfully enjoying staycations without acknowledging the detrimental consequences of our actions. The reality is that change is needed now.
Are we floating on the edge of no return or is there something we could do?
What Can I Do As A Tourist?
The consequences of global warming, climate change and unsustainable travel are far reaching within the tourism industry making its future look bleak. However, not all hope is lost.
As travellers it is up to us to ensure we collectively rethink the way we travel, providing a sustainable and exciting future for the next generations. Whilst this seems like a whale of a task, there are a few simple steps you can take next time you are looking at booking that much needed beach getaway to help reduce your carbon footprint.
- Taking fewer but longer holidays will reduce your carbon footprint.
- Utilise public transport, look for companies with sustainable/eco-conscious policies.
- Support environmentally friendly organisations.
- Book accommodation with eco-friendly hotels/resorts.
While small in scale, if more travellers consider these steps when booking their next getaway we can start to build a more sustainable future for destinations.
It is a win-win right?
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