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The applicability of the tourism climate index in a hot arid environment: Saudi Arabia as a case study

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Abstract

This study aims to implement a widely used climate tourism index (TCI) developed by Mieczkowski (Can Geogr/Geogr Can 29:220-233, 1985) in a hot arid climate. This index provides a quantitative measure of a tourist destination based on five meteorological criteria, daytime comfort index (CID), daily comfort index (CIA), precipitation index (P), sunshine duration index (S), and wind speed (W). This index provides five qualitative classifications, namely excellent, very good, good, acceptable, and unfavorable. The climatic tourism index is applied to 12 destinations, chosen to represent the various geographic zones in Saudi Arabia. A great deal of disparity both spatially and temporally was observed. For instance, high-altitude regions situated in the western parts of the country experience favorable index values during the entire course of the year. Most other areas experience favorable climatic conditions during the winter months but are subject to very unfavorable climate conditions during the summer months. The landscape surrounding the two holy Moslem sites, Makkah and Al Madinah, experience excellent conditions from December through March, but experience very low values during the summer months.

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The Present paper contributes to the quantitative assessment of Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation's Rainfall Erosivity (R) from daily rainfall depth in a data scarce watershed region. Rainfall depth for every 15 minutes from self recording rainguages was measured at four locations in the watershed and a simple model was established between rainfall erosivity and depth of rainfall. 163 events that contribute to soil erosion were identified and regression analysis was carried out using linear, logarithmic, exponential, power, polynomial and quadratic methods. It was found that a power function gave the highest coefficient of determination when compared with five other simple regression analysis of the Rainfall erosivity (MJ mm/ha-event) versus the depth of rainfall. This regression equation had a 0.706 coefficient of determination statistically, and hence it can be used to estimate the rainfall erosivity of the other meteorological stations. To examine the validity of the equation developed, a further test of the R was carried out for another station which has observed R. The difference between the estimated and the observed erosivity is the experimental error. Statistics of the experimental errors are reported as the Mean Absolute Error (34) and the Root Mean Square error (84) for the validation station. These results indicate that the new procedure can give reasonably accurate results for the entire Krishnagiri watershed. Rainfall erosivity of the remaining stations which measures only depth was estimated using the developed power function. Then the spatial pattern of R map was generated using different interpolation techniques in Arc GIS 9.0 which will aid in identifying the vulnerable areas of soil erosion.
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The tourism sector is sensitive to the effects of climate change. This is the first study that examines the relationship between tourism and climate change over Japan using data from projections of future climate. We apply a statistical downscaling method to climate model data and estimate how tourism on a city-scale over Japan may be affected by the expected near-future global warming. We used the tourism climate index (TCI) to evaluate the effect of meteorological factors on tourism. We estimated TCI using data from observatories of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), and compared it with monthly changes in tourist number at Morioka city, and annual variations in tourists at 38 areas in Japan. In general, TCI shows a positive correlation with tourists numbers, although the correlation depends on location. In mountainous regions such as Osorezan and Tsurugizan, TCI is clearly correlated with the number of tourists. As expected, TCI under present climate conditions identifies summer as the most comfortable season for tourism. We also estimate TCI under future climate conditions (around the year 2040) using data from the Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate (MIROC) and five climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 3 (CMIP3). For future climate over large areas of Japan, TCI generally increases in spring/autumn and decreases in summer because effective temperature move into the comfortable and uncomfortable range, respectively. This indicates that the comfortable season for tourists will change in the future from summer to spring and autumn. TCI in the winter season showed large variance between models owing to differences in predicted temperatures in the models.
Article
Reports the results from a field station established in the area to obtain data on the rate of sand drift and dune advance, and to determine the conditions under which soil moves. The process of sand encroachment probably began in the area 2000yr ago and is likely to be a natural phenomenom unaffected by human activity. Massive government efforts aimed mainly at planting and fencing may slow down the movement of sand.-M.Barrett
Article
The study of tourism in the Muslim world can be about religious topics such as hajj and pilgrimage, but it actually means and involves much more. Because religious life and secular life in Islam are closely intertwined, study of its tourism is also partly about its worldview and culture as well as a means of reflecting on Western concepts of travel and hedonistic tourism. This review article introduces selected aspects of Islam to non-Muslims and reviews the tourism literature to identify themes and areas for further research. In addition to scholarly goals, an understanding of the patterns and requirements of the growing numbers of Muslim travellers is of practical importance for the tourism industry. Significantly, the Muslim world provides opportunities for studying differences in policy and development decisions that can offer new insights and inform tourism by providing alternative perspectives.
Article
This article examines summer vacationers’ perceptions of weather conditions in Scandinavia. Against the background of an expanding literature on tourism, weather and climate change, the study aims at understanding the relations between weather expectations, weather perceptions, and adaptive tourist behavior. Evidence from a survey in an archipelago north of the Arctic Circle shows that most tourists considered weather conditions during their stay to be fairly good and that weather aspects have relatively small behavioral impacts. Results demonstrate that when evaluating weather with respect to suitability for tourism, one should take into account traveler motives and intentions in addition to aspects such as comfort or well-being. In this respect, summer weather conditions in Northern Scandinavia are satisfactory or acceptable to many tourists.
Article
The annual rainfall in the southwestern region of Saudi Arabia was analyzed. The study area was divided into regions and subregions depending on the altitude above mean sea level and mean annual rainfall. The classification was supported by comprehensive statistical analysis. The results showed that spring is the main season for rainfall, followed by summer. The gamma distribution was found to provide the best fit, followed by the normal distribution. The analysis of interannual and relative interannual variability showed that regions I and V (adjacent to and furthest away from the coast, respectively, in the southern part of the study area) can be classified as arid, while regions II, III and IV (between and to the north of regions I and V) are classified as semi-arid.
Article
This study examines two different types of vacation experiences as the experimental factors and empirically incorporates a context specific approach into the measurement of destination attractiveness. A total of 400 respondents were interviewed by telephone. Three areas were examined for two different vacation experiences: (1) the relative importance of touristic attributes in contributing to the attractiveness of a travel destination, (2) the variations in the perceived ability of destinations to satisfy tourists' needs, and (3) the influence of previous visitation experience with each destination on perceived attractiveness. A multiattribute situational attitude measurement model was employed to obtain a numerical index of the touristic attractiveness for each of the five destinations studied. Finally, the implications of these findings concerning marketing and development initiatives to improve the physical and perceptual attractiveness of the various destinations under study are discussed.
Article
The short-term rainfall climatology regime over Saudi Arabia is obtained from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data for the period 1998–2009. The TRMM rainfall amounts are calibrated with respect to the rain-gauge data recorded at 29 stations across the country. Day-to-day rainfall comparisons show that the TRMM rainfall trends are very similar to the observed data trends, even if a general overestimation in the satellite products must be highlighted. Besides, especially during the wet season, some of the TRMM algorithm runs tend to underestimate the retrieved rainfalls. The TRMM rainfall data also closely follow the observed annual cycle on a monthly scale. The correlation coefficient for rainfall between the TRMM and the rain-gauge data is about 0.90, with a 99% level of significance on the monthly scale. The spatio-temporal distributions of rainfall over Saudi Arabia are analyzed. Besides the four conventional seasons, this analysis consider the wet (November–April) and dry (June–September) seasons, based on the rainfall amounts recorded. Spring is the highest and winter is the second highest rainfall-occurring season, resulting in large amounts of rainfall during the wet season over most of the country. Regional variations in the rainfall climatology over Saudi Arabia are studied through defining four regions. The false alarm ratio, probability of detection, threat score, and skill score are calculated to evaluate the TRMM performance. The country's average annual rainfall measured by the TRMM is 89.42 mm, whereas the observed data is 82.29 mm. Thus, the rainfall in Saudi Arabia is suggested as being the TRMM value multiplied by 0.93 plus 0.04. After this calibration, the TRMM-measured rainfall is almost 100% of the observed data, thereby confirming that TRMM data may be used in a variety of water-related applications in Saudi Arabia.
Article
In this essay a method of computing tourism climatic indices (TCIS) is described. These indices represent a quantitative evaluation of world climate for the purposes of international tourism. A series of rating systems is developed to provide a systematic basis for assessing the climatic elements that most affect the quality of the tour- ism experience. The problem of weighting climatic variables in the TCI formula is also discussed. Monthly TCIS have been computed for 453 meteorological stations throughout the world, and the results have been generalized in 12 monthly world maps. L' article offre une méthode pour calculer des indices climatoogiques touristiques (ICT), qui représentent une évaluation quantitative des climats mondiaux, destinée aux besoins du tourisme international. On développe une série de systèmes d' évaluation d' éléments climatologiques, fournissant ainsi une base systématique pour évaluer lesquels de ces derniers influencent le plus la qualityé de l' expérience touristique vécu. L'‘article souléve aussi les problhes réliés aux valeurs relatives, soient les poids, des variables qui entrent dans la formule de l' ICT. Des valeurs mensuelles ont été compilées pour 453 stations météorologiques à travers le monde, et les résultats sont présentés, en forme généralisée sur une base mensuelle, dans douze cartes mondiales.
Article
Highly relevant to an individual's thermal perception, the thermal environment in outdoor public spaces impacts the use of such spaces. Thermal adaptation, which involves physiological, psychological and behavioral factors, also plays an important role in assessment of thermal environments by users. Given that these issues have rarely been addressed for outdoor environments in hot and humid regions, this study examines user thermal comfort in a public square in Taiwan. Physical measurements were taken and a questionnaire survey was used to assess the thermal comfort of subjects. The number of people visiting the square was also counted. Analytical results indicate that the thermal comfort range and neutral temperature of subjects was higher than those of people in a temperate region. Additionally, local subjects preferred a cool temperature and weak sunlight, and adapted to thermal environments by seeking shelter outdoors. Analytical results confirm the existence of thermal adaptation and illustrate the characteristics of, and variances in, thermal adaptation. During the cool season, the number of people visiting the square increased as the thermal index value increased. However, the number of people frequenting the square decreased as the thermal index increased during the hot season. These experimental results were compared with those for temperate regions, indicating that the human energy balance model cannot fully explain the influence of climate on use of public spaces; that is, psychological and behavioral factors also play important roles in outdoor thermal comfort. Study findings also elucidate design of outdoor public spaces in hot and humid regions.
Article
At the end of July 1987 a heat wave came over Greece and had as a consequence an increase in the mortality to double the normal values. Predicted mean vote (PMV), physiologically equivalent temperature (PET), and for comparison discomfort index (DI) as thermal indices as well as core temperature, mean skin temperature, and skin wetness as body parameters are calculated for that period based on meteorological data of the Meteorological Institute of the National Observatory in the centre of Athens and of the suburban station New Philadelphia of the Hellenic National Weather Service. The results for the thermal indices and the body parameters indicate a very high thermal stress on people. In addition, the air quality stress index (AQSI) has been used for characterizing air quality conditions in Athens during the heat wave. The results Combined with the thermal effects of the heat wave the stress on humans due to environmental conditions has been very injurious to health.
Article
The holiday destination choice is analysed for tourists from 45 countries, representing all continents and all climates. Tourists are deterred by distance, political instability and poverty, and attracted to coasts. Tourists prefer countries with a sunny yet mild climate, shun climates that are too hot or too cold. A country's tourists' aversion for poverty and distance can be predicted by that country's average per capita income. The preferred holiday climate is the same for all tourists, independent of the home climate. However, tourists from hotter climates have more pronounced preferences. © Springer 2006.
Article
Past & Present 191.1 (2006) 189-228 In 1948, John Hobhouse, a senior manager of Alfred Holt & Co. (also known as Blue Funnel or Ocean Steam Ship), the premier British shipping company sailing east to China, Malaya and the Straits Settlements, began to wonder whether it any longer made good business sense to engage in the pilgrim trade. Since the nineteenth century, Holts steamers had carried Malay and Indonesian Muslims to and from Jiddah during the Hajj season; in fact, until the Second World War nearly all Holts ships had been equipped to carry pilgrims if necessary, in order to accommodate a traffic with uneven scheduling. Profits from paying passengers had largely been made on the eastbound voyage, where freight coming from Europe was usually light in volume; but, with respect to the westbound voyage, Hobhouse noted, 'it would almost always have been possible to fill the space more profitably with cargo'. In the late 1940s, with Holts still reeling from wartime losses, enjoying a better balance in outbound and homeward cargo volumes, and facing pressure from fading colonial governments to provide superior accommodation and safety facilities, Hobhouse wondered whether 'the economics of this trade' did not warrant disengagement altogether. Advised that this would place the company in very bad odour in the region, especially as Asian shipping would be a far more competitive force in the future, he compromised. Holts would continue to transport hajjis, but numbers would be limited. 'The maximum will be fixed from season to season, and we shall not complain if it is not reached'. Politically, this 'diseconomics' of scale seemed the best business decision possible. Hobhouse's exchanges highlight two broad themes in the history of the Hajj that are addressed in this article. First, migration in modern times, whether long-term or short, has always been a business as well as a movement of peoples. Steamship companies, railway companies, agents, brokers and labour recruiters turned all forms of migration into big business, and in so doing they provided the organization, means and often initiatives, by which the great transoceanic flows of humanity occurred. Historians of the Hajj have noted the central importance of the steamship, and the creation of better lines of communication, in the development of mass pilgrimage to Makkah during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Other factors — changing imperial policies, rising commodity prices, questions of Islamic identity, the prestige and self-justification attached to pilgrimage, and the advance of orthodox forms of Islam — were equally influential in promoting an event that was of immense significance to the cultural identity of its participants and to the unifying processes of modern Islam. But, ironically, none of this occurred without the intrusion of Western businessmen, who applied the same business logic and mechanisms that they deployed in their transportation of other populations, or even freight, around the world. Although historians have not been insensitive to the commercial dimensions of the Hajj, nor to the contribution of the steamship, there has been little, if any, sustained assessment of the effect of European shipping practice on the annual pilgrimage to Makkah. Curiously, awareness of the impact of modern technology and business organization has been limited to statements about their existence, without any analysis of how shipping companies facilitated the Hajj. The ease with which Europeans captured the lion's share of the business — they were, after all, not the only ones with steamships nor the only ones in the trade — has also been assumed rather than understood. One purpose of this article, therefore, is to show that pilgrim traffic formed part of a wider, mass transportation business, and that European shipping companies, by applying to this traffic the logistical command they had acquired in their other migration trades, made possible large-scale, regular, even routinized carriage of hajjis across thousands of sea miles. The Hajj was a religious event — but business also contoured the pilgrimage. Furthermore, the transportation of Muslim pilgrims by European shipping companies was an imperial trade, and as such it conformed to...
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