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– We must prepare for the fact that Europeans will flee here in the summer – NRK Sørlandet – Local news, TV and radio

– We must prepare for the fact that Europeans will flee here in the summer – NRK Sørlandet – Local news, TV and radio

Climate scientists, tourism experts and international newspapers all say the same thing:

Rising temperatures as a result of climate change could alter people’s travel habits and lead them to cooler destinations here in the north.

The number of Europeans wanting to travel to southern Europe between June and November fell by 10 percent, according to a recent survey by the European Travel Commission (ETC).

Climate researcher Marie Pontopidan at the Bjerknes Center explains succinctly and simply what the future will be like in what we call “the South”.

More and more heat waves. Where it’s wet, it gets wetter, and where it gets hot, it gets hotter.

Southern villages could become the “New South”

Åsa Grahn is a tourism expert and associate professor at the University of Stavanger. She says Norway should prepare for Europeans choosing to spend their holidays here in the future.

– It will be warmer with us, but not the extreme heat waves they are fleeing, says Grahn.

According to ETC, more people are moving their vacations to spring and fall. These are the consequences of heat waves, fires and droughts, the Italian newspaper writes La Republica.

Grahn says that foreign tourists come to Norway specifically to experience cooler weather and wild nature.

– They want to experience colors, smells, and other senses, and they can have it with us when it rains, too.

When it comes to Norwegians, there are more people who go on holiday in southern Norway, as an alternative to the southern regions of Europe.

– Always highly rated, Sørland idyll is attractive for sun, swimming, and lounging. Norwegians booked their holidays late this year and will continue to wait for reservations due to heat waves in Europe. Then it will be easier for them to book in Norway, and then it will be mainly southern Norway.

– We notice that many young people have booked their vacation in southern Norway this year and are booking Airbnb, she adds.

– Southern Norway can become an economic winner in an unstable climate

Agderposten Editor-in-Chief Catherine Lee also believes that more people would like to experience the southern summer in the future.

in comment I wrote in previous years that southern Norway could become an economic winner in an unstable time of climate.

She points to opportunities in wind power, batteries and tourism, but stresses that the background here is tragic.

Catherine Lee, editor at Agderposten

Catherine Lee, editor at Agderposten.

Photo: Kirsti Haga Honningsøy/NRK

It’s not that we welcome that. But it is important in discussing climate to talk about other influences. It’s positive if we receive tourists here from an economic perspective, he tells me, but at the same time no one wants that to be the case.

– The comment is less about climate change being very nice, but more about the fact that it could be an unintended positive effect. Which we must also include in the calculation as to what can drive jobs in southern Norway.

The one thing that really draws people to southern Norway is Arendalsuka.

Climate scientist Marie Pontopidan looks at the sun and says she hopes people will benefit from climate change. But it will not announce any climate winners.

– At the same time, I belong to the school of thought that something needs to be done here and it needs to be done quickly. Regardless of whether we succumb to greenhouse gas emissions today, it will take some time before climate systems stabilize and we see the full consequences. So maybe I’m looking at it a little darker than bright, yeah.

Tourism expert sa Grahn says climate adaptation and preparations to increase tourism will be essential going forward.

It will be interesting to see how it is discussed in the future. We also get extreme weather, in slightly different ways, short heat waves, short storms, much more variable weather and heavy rain, like the rain we’ve seen now. This led to consequences for the tourists as well.

Climate researcher Maria Pontopidan

Climate researcher Marie Pontopidan at the Bjerkenes Center.

Photo: Milana Knezevic/NRK