Performances of holiday climate index (HCI) for urban and beach destinations in Sri Lanka under changing climate

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Samarasinghe, Jayanga T ORCID: 0000-0001-8491-0092, Wickramarachchi, Charuni, Makumbura, Randika K ORCID: 0000-0001-6030-1567, Meddage, Pasindu, Gunathilake, Miyuru B ORCID: 0000-0001-7052-1942, Muttil, Nitin ORCID: 0000-0001-7758-8365 and Rathnayake, Upaka ORCID: 0000-0002-7341-9078 (2023) Performances of holiday climate index (HCI) for urban and beach destinations in Sri Lanka under changing climate. Climate, 11 (3). ISSN 2225-1154


Climate change has had a significant impact on the tourism industry in many countries, leading to changes in policies and adaptations to attract more visitors. However, there are few studies on the effects of climate change on Sri Lanka’s tourism industry and income, despite its importance as a destination for tourists. A study was conducted to analyze the holiday climate index (HCI) for Sri Lanka’s urban and beach destinations to address this gap. The analysis covered historical years (2010–2018) and forecasted climatic scenarios (2021–2050 and 2071–2100), and the results were presented as colored maps to highlight the importance of HCI scores. Visual analysis showed some correlation between HCI scores and tourist arrivals, but the result of the overall correlation analysis was not significant. However, a country-specific correlation analysis revealed interesting findings, indicating that the changing climate can be considered among other factors that impact tourist arrivals. The research proposes that authorities assess the outcomes of the study and conduct further research to develop adaptive plans for Sri Lanka’s future tourism industry. The study also investigated potential scenarios for beach and urban destinations under two climate scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) for the near and far future, presenting the findings to tourism industry stakeholders for any necessary policy changes. As Sri Lanka expects more Chinese visitors in the future due to ongoing development projects, this study could be valuable for policymakers and industry stakeholders when adapting to changing climate and future tourist behavior. While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of climate change on Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, this study serves as a starting point for future investigations.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/cli11030048
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4005 Civil engineering
Current > Division/Research > College of Science and Engineering
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords holiday climate index, climate change, Sri Lanka, tourism
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