Tourism is a vital component in the economic sustainability of most communities along the Atlantic coastline and is seen as a key component in the economic revitalization of former fishery-dependent communities.

Rising sea level, increased coastal erosion, beach narrowing and coarsening, and increased storm activity all have negative impacts on tourism in coastal regions. Damage to infrastructure represents an additional concern. Coastal development and the construction of protective infrastructure would restrict the movement of the beaches and sand dune systems landward.

  • A Climate Sensitive Industry: Tourism is vital to Atlantic Canada and every coastal community. Both weather and climate are critical to making decisions about where to go on vacation. Climate change can impact that decision both negatively and positively.
  • Tourism Activities: A longer summer and general warming may attract tourists to Atlantic Canada who are looking for pleasant weather and who may be facing hotter temperatures. Milder, shorter winters however, are not good news for outdoor winter activities; Atlantic Canada’s small but vibrant winter tourism sector may be negatively impacted by climate change.
  • Mobility and Infrastructure: Beach narrowing from sea-level rise, coastal erosion and storm events may affect access to the coast and limit tourist beach activities. Extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, can dampen vacation plans and damage tourism infrastructure.
  • Tourist Attractions: Archaeological and culturally significant sites in Atlantic Canada may be particularly vulnerable to extreme weather and to coastal impacts of climate change.


  • Take Advantage: Extend tourism activities beyond the normal tourist season.
  • Diversify: Diversify tourism opportunities, with particular attention on marketing new activities (wine making) that may arise because of climate change.
  • Protect: Re-examine strategies to protect culturally significant sites and tourist infrastructure against climate variability and extremes.
  • Relocate: Move infrastructure that requires a long-term solution, and plan any tourism infrastructure outside risk areas.
A group of people in yellow kayaks paddling at Hopewell Rocks.