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Extreme heat and other consequences of climate change are forcing travelers and travel advisors to adapt to the reality of a changing world.

A brutal heat wave in Europe has some travelers cutting their summer trips short, and destinations with cooler weather are becoming more attractive, according to the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA).

“This is one of the biggest issues affecting travel today,” said ASTA communications director Michael Schottey. “On top of extreme heat, various studies attribute everything from increased winter storms and intensifying hurricane seasons to climate change. This year, we’re seeing extreme heat in places like Southern Europe create the kind of chaos that our advisors are used to only around holiday snowstorms. It’s a new normal and one the advisor community is adapting to.”

Climate Change is Even Affecting Marketing

Some Caribbean destinations have even begun marketing themselves as a less extreme summer alternative to regions of the U.S. that have faced extended periods of 100ºF temperatures, industry experts say.

Schottey said that interest in Scandinavia and other cooler parts of the world has increased, while some travel advisors report that “record-breaking temps are causing some travelers to cut their trips short and forfeit significant spends because it is simply too hot.”

In other cases, travelers have confronted heat-related cancellations of tours and flights delayed because temperatures on the tarmac are too high for planes to take off safely, he noted.

Schottey said unpredictable weather makes it more important than ever that travel advisors ensure that the “cancel for any reason” or “interruption for any reason” travel insurance policies they sell clients cover heat emergencies and other weather-related issues.

“Advisors know when the worst winter storms are coming,” he said. “They know the ins and outs of hurricane season better than Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel. Now, this is one more thing advisors need to add to their list of knowledge and one more reason consumers have to trust a travel advisor who stays up to date.”