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As the world heats up, ‘coolcations’ are becoming a thing

Summer temperatures made hotter by climate change are driving people to holiday in higher elevations and at higher latitudes
  • Searches for the term ‘cooler holidays’ have doubled on Google over the past year and booking websites are reporting more interest in cooler climes

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UPDATED: 21 Jun 2024, 7:42 am

With scorching summer temperatures ramping up across the northern hemisphere, many holidaymakers are looking not for beach vacations – but to escape the heat. The getaways have been dubbed “coolcations.” 

Nikkei Asia reports that the Canadian mountain town of Banff, New Zealand’s skiing capital Queenstown, as well as Norwegian resorts, are increasingly popular destinations during summertime in the northern hemisphere. Vacationers can enjoy the likes of snowshoeing, cold-water plunges and bracing mountain hikes.

Google searches for the term “cooler holidays” have also doubled over the 12 months to 8 May, Nikkei says, while several travel booking websites have reportedly indicated greater interest in places with reliably lower temperatures.

[See more: The Asian heatwave is shattering meteorological records]

Condé Nast Traveller has meanwhile published a listicle titled “Five coolcations to plan this summer to beat the heat.” The locations were Karadeniz, Turkey; Copenhagen, Denmark; Edinburgh, Scotland; Lake Sevan, Armenia; and Salalah, Oman.

While climate change is likely accelerating the shift away from classic summer destinations like Greece – where tourists died during a recent heatwave, and where wildfires can make vacationing a dicey business – coolcations are not a new phenomenon, at least not in Asia.

The continent is dotted with famous “hill stations,” developed during colonial times for people who could afford to summer in the cooler temperatures at high altitudes. Examples of hill stations include Shimla in India, Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands and Dalat in Vietnam.

UPDATED: 21 Jun 2024, 7:42 am

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