Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (12): 2085-2100.doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1706-y

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Impact of climate change on Tibet tourism based on tourism climate index

ZHONG Linsheng1,2,3, YU Hu1,2(), ZENG Yuxi1,3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-01-26 Accepted:2018-03-25 Online:2019-12-25 Published:2019-12-06
  • Contact: YU Hu
  • About author:Zhong Linsheng (1971–), PhD and Professor, specialized in ecotourism and geographical tourism, protected area management. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Key R&D Program of China, No(2017YFC0506401);National Natural Science Foundation of China, No(41671527)


Climate change is an important factor affecting the sustainable development of tourist destinations. Based on the monthly observation data of the main meteorological stations on the ground in Tibet from 1960 to 2015, this paper constructs a tourism climate index model. This index is used to quantitatively evaluate the tourism climate changes in Tibet, and investigate the impact of climate change on tourism. The results show that from 1960 to 2015, the temperature in Tibet increased by 1.35°C, and the tourism climate index changed significantly, especially in the regions of Changtang, Ngari and Kunlun Mountain. The fluctuation of temperature-humidity index, wind-chill index and index of clothing of these areas was larger than that of other regions. The changes of each index in different months are different, where spring observes larger changes while summer observes smaller changes. The tourism climate index in northwestern Tibet has increased, and the climate comfort period is expanding. In southeastern Tibet, the comfort level has declined and the comfort level in the central part has been slowly increasing. The comfort index in the southeastern part of Tibet has gradually declined, and the comfort index in central Tibet has slowly increased. According to the comprehensive assessment method including temperature and humidity index, wind-chill index, index of clothing and altitude adaptability index, the types of tourism climate index in Tibet can be divided into reduced, low-speed growth, medium-speed growth and rapid growth. Different regions should adopt alternative tourism products, strengthen energy conservation and emission reduction technology applications and green infrastructure construction, and appropriately control the scale of tourism activities so as to adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change on tourist destinations.

Key words: climate change, tourism climate index, adaptation countermeasures, Tibet