Sunday, August 29, 1999 Published at 02:19 GMT 03:19 UK
Global warming threatens tourism
Holiday playground: What happens to the Maldives when the seas rise?
By Environment Correspondent Alex Kirby
WWF asked the climatic research unit at the university of East Anglia to analyse the potential impact of a changing climate on 10 top destinations.
They are the Maldives, the European Alps, the eastern Mediterranean, southern Spain, Scotland, the European lakes, South and east Africa, Australia, Florida and Brazil.
Dr Ute Collier, WWF head of climate change, said: "The tourism industry could be faced with huge costs as global warming begins to influence decisions about when and where people are going to go on holiday."
By next year earnings from global tourism are expected to have reached $621bn.
The total is forecast to reach $1.5 trillion by 2010. Tourism already accounts for as much as 20% of some countries' gross domestic product.
Problems the report says could hurt tourism include:
In 1996 there were 594 million international travellers. By next year, that number is likely to have reached 702 m.
By 2010, the number of travellers is expected to top the one billion mark, and one decade later could be as high as 1.6bn.
WWF's recommendations include introducing an aviation fuel tax throughout the European Union, and preferably worldwide.
It also argues for a shift from fossil fuel use to renewable energy sources, and for improved energy efficiency in new buildings, including tourist resorts.