Investigating the Effects of Climate Change on the Number of Visitors in Hengam Island

Document Type : Full length article


1 Assistant Prof., Dep. of Geography, Hormozgan University

2 MS. Graduated on Ecotourism, Dep. of Geography, Hormozgan University


Climate have strong impact on tourism and leisure time. Climate as a natural environmental
factor plays an important role in tourism development in different regions of the world. Climate
change and global warming, due to increasing greenhouse gases have many effects on procedure
of tourism areas. Evaluation of predictions on future climate change can reduce these effects on
tourism industry. Unfortunately, despite the obvious importance of climate change on tourism,
researchers have paid little attention to this topic until the 1980s. Thus, one of the oldest
researches in this region is the examination about the impacts of carbon dioxide on earth
warming and its effects on tourism (skiing Laavrntyds area) discussed by Boyle and Wall. This
research has been done in Canada in 1980. In this study, climate change phenomenon has been
examined using two scenarios A and B. The effect of climate change on snow condition, snow
cover of the region, and ski industry were examined. The results show that this phenomenon has
impact on the ski industry and shorten duration of the ski season. It should be noted that among
researches carried out, a few of the issues of climate change was about the effects of climate
change on tourism activities.
In another study, climate change has been investigated according to the GCM and
regression models. Then, the effects of climate change on the number of visitors have been
investigated using economic models such as travel cost (TCM). In some of these studies suitable
conditions of tourism in nowadays and in the future (of climate change) has been determined by
∗E-mail: Tel: +98 9124803242
Physical Geography Research Quarterly, 46 (1), Spring 2014 19
TCI Index and also effects of time of climate comfort on the number of visitors have been
studied. The results show that climate change has effects on the number of visitors (Scott et al.,
2007; Chotiyaputta and Pongkijvorasin, 2013; Amelung et al., 2007; Hein, 2009; Yu et al.,
Few studies on the effects of climate and climate change on tourism have been conducted in
Iran. In these studies, the relationship between climate impacts and tourism as well as the
impacts of climate change on the tourism industry has been investigated. The results express the
close relationship between climate and tourism activities and the impact of climate change on
the industry (Mohammadi et al., 2008; Ranjbar et al., 2010; Kaviani et al., 2007; Ramezani and
Abraham, 2007; Ghaderi, 2010, Bonn, 2010; Ziai et al., 2010; Haji Amini and Ghaffarzadeh,
2010; Bakhtiari, 2010). Rainfall and temperature changes and their impacts on tourism were
examined by Ataee and Fanaee in 2011 in Shiraz. Results of the study indicate that Shiraz
rainfall and temperature are in two states of without a process and with process, respectively.
Temperature process is ascending. This matter could have a major impact on the amount of
tourists of this city. Karimi in 2008 have also studies about the relationship between climate and
tourism using climate tourism indices such as PET, PMV, SET, ET, and stress pressure index
for Tabriz City. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of climate change on the
visit level in Hengam Island.
To achieve the purpose of this research, climatic factors are used as independent variables and
the number of visitors as dependent variable in stepwise multiple linear regression models. In
order to simulate climate change based on general circulation models (GCMs), LARS-WG
downscaling tool is applied. This stochastic weather generator downscaled the climate of
Bandarabass synoptic station by using HADCM3 model and A1B, A2, B1emission scenarios,
for 2040.
LARS-WG is one of the most popular models for random generation of weather data. This
model is used for generating daily rainfall, minimum temperature, and radiation or sunshine
hours in a station, for base data and future climate. Table 1-1 represents characteristics of three
scenarios used in this study.
Table 1. Characteristics of scenarios as used in this study
characteristics scenario
Rapid economic growth, population growth maximum at mid-century and then
declined, the rapid development of modern technologies
Rapid population growth in the world, heterogeneity in economy and in line with the
regional growth throughout the world
The convergence of the global population, changes in the structure of the economy
(Pollutions reduction and introduce clean and efficient technology resources,)
20 Physical Geography Research Quarterly, 46 (1), Spring 2014
Results and Discussion
The results show that there is a reverse relationship between temperature and the number of
visitors in Hengam Island. The number of visitors decrease when temperature rise in warm
seasons (spring, summer), and visitors increase with decreasing temperature in the cold season
(winter, spring). The results also show that the number of visitors was affected by seasonal
changes in the future. Generally, it is predicted that visits increase in summer and autumn
seasons and decrease in spring and winter seasons. The highest visit frequency is predicted for
autumn season in the A1B scenario and the lowest belongs to summer in the A2 scenario. The
highest visit reduction is predicted for spring season in the A1B scenario and the lowest
reduction belongs to winter in the B1 scenario.
The results show the greatest increasing changes of visits in autumn (according to scenario
A1B) and the smallest increase in summer (according to scenario A2). The main results
obtained in this study are consistent with similar studies by other researchers. The main results
are increase of temperature in the regions (Ataee and Fanaei, 2011; Shah Karami, 2007; Abbasi
et al., 2010; Massah Bavanat et al., 2010; Babaeian and Najafi Nick, 2010; Ashraf et al., 2011;
Abbasi et al., 2010; Azizi and Roshan, 2008; Rahimi and Majd, 2011; Babaeian et al., 2009;
Azad Torabi et al., 2010; Babaeian and Kuhi, 2012; Azizi et al., 2008) and (Berrittella et al.,
2006; Hein, 2009; Giannakopoulos, 2009; Burki and Elsasser, 2002; Chotiyaputta, and
Pongkijvorasin, 2013; Yu et al., 2009). But the result is not consistent with the decrease of
temperature in the summer and autumn, which could be due to the specific conditions of each
region (latitude, location, topography, etc.).