Mountain regions attract tourists through their unique landscapes, ecosystems, sport possibilities and rich cultural heritage. In rural areas, tourism can provide an important alternative income for locals where there are few other livelihood options besides agriculture. Mountain tourism is recognised as especially vulnerable to climate change impacts by the World Tourism Organization. Direct impacts include the degradation of attractions, transportation networks, electricity and sanitation systems, which can both threaten lives and affect visitors’ perception of safety, to indirect impacts including changes in the food and water supply. Although tourism can have a negative impact on biodiversity, due to its economic importance, sustainably managed tourism can help to finance the protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Across the mountain regions, new initiatives such as ecotourism are developing fast and employing locals while seeking to preserve biodiversity.
From collection: Mountain Adaptation Outlook Series – Synthesis Report Graphics