Climate change is a highly contested phenomena, but it is still affecting our daily lives and the vital resources that we depend upon for continued existence.
The Second Communication of Malta to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2010) outlines that climate change in the Maltese Islands threatens our already dwindling water resources, land use, infrastructure, natural ecosystems, agriculture and even human health.
Tourism is a crucial industry within the Maltese Islands and many of the locals’ livelihood depends on the economic returns of the tourism product offered. The tourism industry is also a climate-dependent one. The Maltese Islands’ favourable destination as a summer resort will be negatively affected if drought conditions and high temperatures persist throughout the summer months. The majority of tourists visit the Maltese Islands during the peak summer season, and this results in a greater strain on our threatened resources.
At both the regional and national level, environmental dialogue has been focusing on the role of the private sector in tackling climate change. This has been mentioned in the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Green growth, economic growth using natural resources in a sustainable manner, is also encouraged since it creates new jobs and redirects investment in an eco-friendly manner. Within the local context, whilst the Climate Action Fund was being launched in 11th March 2015, the Environmental Minister highlighted the role of the private sector and the promotion of environmentally friendly knowledge.
Promoting shoulder months’ tourism
The weather of the Maltese Islands, especially during the hot dry summers, will put off a large number of tourists who would be otherwise seeking a summer holiday destination. Northern Europe, with its attractive climate will appeal to holidaymakers to the detriment of Mediterranean tourism. The Mediterranean climate has thus become more amenable to spring, winter and autumn tourism.
Promoting winter tourism and the off-peak months in the Maltese Islands is a form of green growth. At The Cliffs Interpretation Centre, the innovative and authentic tours that underline the natural environment, historical significance and gastronomical attributes promote sustainable tourism, whilst minimising the use of resources and providing a entertaining and healthy activity to all types of visitors. Moreover, the tours are a form of innovative development of quality niche tourism markets aims at creating environmental awareness.
By promoting the shoulder months tourism, we are also aiding in the spreading of tourism demand, not in just a few weeks during the summer peaks but throughout the year. The environment, cultural heritage, charming landmarks, authentic ways of life and gastronomy are other assets that the Maltese Islands’ have, and which are being promoted to the fullest at The Cliffs Interpretation Centre, whilst also ensuring tourism sustainability.