The latest years were the hottest ones in the historical record and meteorological cataclysms show how climate change is not a future hypothesis, but a present phenomenon. The transition from one habitat to another one forces society to adapt itself (resilience), to move (migration) or to resist, impressing artificial mutations on the environment. This project aims to exploring how the tourism is reacting to the effects of climate change. Vacations are a status symbol of the worldwide middle classes well-being; economically, it’s accountable for 10% of the world GDP, but still, flights and cruise ships are one of the main sources of pollution. Holidays are like a surreal playground where tourists can feel free to satisfy their desires. With an ironic point of view this project tries to deal with a theme of global importance: the effects of climate change on our lifestyle.
With an average ground-level elevation of 1.5 meters (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, the Maldives Islands are the world’s lowest country, and, due to constantly rising sea levels, these atolls are slowly disappear. On the other hand, Maldives’ economy is based on the tourism income, with more than 30 percent of GDP and over 60 percent of foreign currency earnings (source: Trading Economics).
Despite the country is vanishing, there is a growing number of undersea tourist buildings, man made islands and an intensive costal construction activity. To attract more visitors, private companies are transforming some atolls into a sort of Atlantis for tourists, and Maldives Gov is parceling out the submarine environment. New land reclamation and artificial islands are made with the aim to catch 2 million tourist per year, in addition to relocate there people from the far, thin, narrow little atolls. Pumping sand, higher water temperature and mass of visitor are rapidly damaging the most famous symbol of Maldives: the coral reef. This natural defense system is loosing its resistance , and seawalls have been building to protect Resorts from costal erosion.
Tourists can now enjoy their luxury holiday, and incredible breath-taking view behind the barriers.
Tourism in the climate change era is a long-term photographic project started in 2015 with the aim to investigate the relation between climate change and tourism.