Hotter climate likely to hurt tourism in Indiana, study says

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focus-briefs-111618-15col.jpg Attendance at outdoor summer concerts, like this one sponsored by Noblesville Main Street, could suffer because of higher temperatures. (IBJ file photo)

Indiana’s rising temperatures could affect summer tourism, with the prospect of hot, sticky, summer days making outdoor activities uncomfortable and warmer temperatures limiting many winter activities, according to a Purdue University study.

That prediction is according to the latest Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment report, “Tourism and Recreation in a Warmer Indiana,” released Nov. 12 by the Purdue University Climate Change Research Center.

Indiana is a destination for outdoor activities, from Lake Michigan and the Indiana Dunes in the north, to cultural, culinary and sports draws in Indianapolis, to rolling hills and peak fall color down south.

In 2016, 79 million tourists visited Indiana, adding $12.2 billion to the economy and supporting more than 240,000 jobs.

Indiana historically has 129 days per year in which the high temperature is between 65 and 85 degrees. These so-called “mild days” are considered ideal for outdoor activities.

Rising temperatures could replace as many as 27 of these days per year with uncomfortable and dangerous heat by the 2050s and 38 by the end of the century, the report said.•

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