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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 August 2006, 00:32 GMT 01:32 UK
Package holiday 'will be history'
Spanish beach
Popular destinations may lose their attraction
Climate change may lead to the British package holiday to the Mediterranean becoming "consigned to the scrapbook of history", a report claims.

Places like Majorca may be too hot by 2030, and replaced by UK holidays, and health, sport and cultural visits, the Halifax Travel Insurance study said.

The report said more extreme weather events and higher temperatures may put tourists at greater risk abroad.

People may switch their main holiday to the winter or the spring, it suggested.

By 2030, global sea levels could rise by 25cm and shorelines could retreat by as much as 1,230ft, it is claimed.

Long-haul destinations such as Florida could be hit by increasingly powerful hurricanes and a loss of beaches. And extreme conditions such as drought, storms and torrential rainfall could increase, according to the study.

'More at risk'

David Rochester, of Halifax Travel Insurance, said: "With increased extreme weather events and dramatic temperature increases predicted, holidaymakers will be considerably more at risk abroad in 20 or 30 years than they are today.

"In addition to changes in where we want to go on holiday, there will be a change in when we want to go.

"A winter holiday to the Mediterranean and a summer holiday to Sweden might become a popular trend."

The study was produced for the firm by Professor Bill McGuire, director the Benfield Hazard Research Centre at University College London.

The study's predictions for 2030 include:

  • Global temperatures could be 1C, or even 2C higher
  • Southern European resorts will face serious water shortages

  • As much as 90% of the world's reefs, including Australia's Great Barrier Reef could die

  • A large part of the Maldives and Seychelles could be submerged

    Prof McGuire said: "Although these findings imply a slowdown in global tourism and a change in holiday patterns, there are measures that both travellers and the tourism industry can take to mitigate some of the worst effects of climate change."

    He also urged local and national governments to invest "far greater resources" in water management, as well as more rigorous building standards to cope with high winds and more rainfall.

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