Relevant tools for the tourism sector

Europe is the World’s No. 1 tourism destination and the ToPDAd models can help businesses, such as ski resorts, plan their future incomes and quantify climate risks based on weather predictions.


                                                                                                                     Photo: Foto Furgler

Franz Prettenthaler is responsible for ToPDAd deliverables 1.1: Tool-supported policy-development for regional adaptation and 1.3: Opportunities for tool-assisted decision support and works with the case-themes for energy, transport and tourism within Work Package 2. He is head of research group at Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbh in Austria. 

Useful for the tourism sector

The contribution of Work Package 1 includes the development of a weather tool that can predict visitor numbers and tourist resources based on weather forecasts. Franz explains that this is a nice adaptation tool at the firm level because it enables firms to quantify their climate risks. "For example we have already run a test of this tool for a Skiing Resort and the numbers that we got were very accurate, so even turnover numbers in the restaurants could be predicted nine days in advance with the precision of 2 percent difference only.”

Another contribution which the team is currently working on is the development of a weather model which can serve as a climate-impact prognostic tool for the long run and for entire tourism regions. These contributions are especially important for the tourism sector because Europe is the World’s No. 1 tourism destination. "Especially alpine skiing is potentially strongly hit by climate change and in many rural areas skiing tourism is the only source of income,” Franz says.  

This does not only interest him on an academic level. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family and to go skiing during winter time: "Of course I go skiing with my children and skiing ticket prices are going up and sometimes we have to travel longer to have decent skiing conditions, especially earlier in winter.”  

A toolbox for climate-change adaptation

The contribution of Franz’s team to the overall toolbox of climate adaptation tools that ToPDAd will produce are these weather tools which will be the first prognostic tools measuring the impacts from the short-term to the long-term impacts of climate change.  

Stakeholders’ ideas have had a strong influence on the usability features of the services and products to be developed. The next steps for Franz’s team will be to make a case study on European-wide tourism impact of increasing temperatures. Moreover, the team will contribute to another case study looking into flood impact on the tourism sector.

In Franz’s opinion, the most interesting aspects of ToPDAd are the intense and positive collaboration between the researchers and that the quantitative modelling capabilities in the consortium are very advanced.


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Logos of the participants of ToPDAd
Participants of ToPDAd: Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT, The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge, CICERO Senter Klimaforskning Stiftelse, Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek, Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zürich, Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftlich Strukturforschung MBH, University of East Anglia, Transport & Mobility Lueven NV, Ilmatieteen Laitos, Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft MBH
7th Framework Programme (FP7)