The impacts of climate change on tourist mobility in mountain areas
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This study investigates the effects of climate change on tourist mobility in mountain areas, distinguishing between infrastructure, transport operation and travel demand. We examine change in tourist travel demand by proposing a two-step approach to forecast its future development. A multi-origin, multi-destination model for tourism demand quantifies the variation in overnight stays within a given region, and a linear, deterministic model determines the traffic-related implications. The method, tested on the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol (Italy), exhibits expected variations in winter and summer travel demand up to 2080 under different scenarios. Results reveal that average summer traffic can be more than twice as intense as average winter traffic, contributing to significantly increasing the peak days of congestion along the Provincial road network. Despite this evidence, all stakeholders seem to be at an early stage in incorporating this information into their strategic planning. The need for adequate transport policies and measures is considered essential to obtain the optimal balance of transport modes that will be required in the near future.