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The Primacy of Climate Change for Sustainable International Tourism



International tourism is portrayed by many agencies and governments as a significant contributor to sustainable development strategies. The economic impacts of international tourism are undoubtedly substantial; however, they need to be framed within a broader understanding of impacts throughout the tourism system. Emissions from tourism and their contribution to climate change therefore set a potentially major challenge for the sustainability of international tourism. Following an examination of the current and forecast growth of emissions from international tourism and the policies and strategies of lead bodies, industry and national governments, tourism is seen as grounded in a pro-growth paradigm that offers no hope within the foreseeable future of absolute reductions in emissions. Given the potential implications of this finding, it is concluded that a significant reassessment is required of the potential benefits of tourism for sustainable development. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment
The Primacy of Climate Change for Sustainable
International Tourism
C. Michael Hall,
*Daniel Scott
and Stefan Gössling
University of Canterbury, New Zealand
University of Oulu, Finland
University of Eastern Finland, Finland
University of Johannesburg, South Africa
University of Waterloo, Canada
Lund University, Sweden
Western Norway Research Institute, Norway
International tourism is portrayed by many agencies and governments as a signicant contribu-
tor to sustainable development strategies. The economic impacts of international tourism are
undoubtedly substantial; however, they need to be framed within a broader understanding of im-
pacts throughout the tourism system. Emissions from tourism and their contribution to climate
change therefore set a potentially major challenge for the sustainability of international tourism.
Following an examination of the current and forecast growth of emissions from international
tourism and the policies and strategies of lead bodies, industry and national governments, tour-
ism is seen as grounded in a pro-growth paradigm that offers no hope within the foreseeable
future of absolute reductions in emissions. Given the potential implications of this nding, it
is concluded that a signicant reassessment is required of the potential benets of tourism
for sustainable development. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment
Received 5 December 2012; revised 10 December 2012; accepted 3 January 2013
Keywords: green growth; aviation; greenhouse gas emissions; tourism policy; developing countries
to nearly double by 2030 (UNWTO, 2011). It is a major source of foreign exchange for many countries and
is widely perceived by governments, supranational institutions and NGOs as a relatively benign means of
economic development and employment generation (UNWTO, 2006). Yet it is increasingly recognized that
tourism is a signicant contributor to undesirable socio-economic and environmental change, including biodiversity
loss and climate change (Hall, 2010a; Hall and Lew, 2009; Scott et al., 2012a, 2012b).
Tourisms role in sustainable development highlights the inherent contradictions and complexities of translating
notions of sustainability into post-carbon political realities, and the centrality of climate change as a sustainable
*Correspondence to: C. Michael Hall, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. E-mail:
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment
Sustainable Development
Sust. Dev. 21, 112121 (2013)
Published online in Wiley Online Library
( DOI: 10.1002/sd.1562
development issue (Ahmed et al., 2009; GHF, 2009; IPCC, 2007; Kok et al., 2008). Tourism both contributes to and
is strongly affected by climate change, leading to signicant challenges and potential paradoxes in governance and
long-term development (UNWTO, UNEP and WMO, 2008). This article rst discusses the signicant economic role
of tourism and its advocacy as a development mechanism. Following a critique of the notion of balancein sustain-
able tourism, it then goes on to highlight tourisms growing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribution
to climate change. The paper questions whether tourisms contribution to climate change can be reconciled with
notions of sustainable or balancedgrowth. The article concludes that a focus on visitor growth and energy efciency
gains alone cannot fundamentally decouple tourism growth from emission growth.
Tourism and Development
Tourism is an extremely signicant global activity. In 2012, international tourist arrivals are expected to reach one
billion for the rst time, up from 25 million in 1950, 277 million in 1980 and 528 million in 1995 (UNWTO,
2012). Although international tourism is usually the primary national policy focus because of its trade dimensions
(Coles and Hall, 2008), the vast majority of tourism is domestic in nature and accounted for an estimated 4.7 billion
arrivals in 2010 (Cooper and Hall, 2013).
Ranked the fourth largest economic sector after fuels, chemicals and food, tourism contributes an estimated 5% of
global gross domestic product (GDP), and 67% of employment (direct and indirect) (UNWTO, 2012). International
tourisms export value, including international passenger transport, is US$1.2 trillion (in 2011), accounting for 30% of
the worlds commercial service exports or 6% of total exports (UNWTO, 2012). Tourism is one of the ve top export
earners in over 150 countries, while in 60 countries it is the number one export sector (UNCTAD, 2010). It is also the
main source of foreign exchange for one-third of developing countries and one-half of least developed countries (LDCs)
(UNWTO and UNEP, 2011).
The UNWTO predicts that the number of international tourist arrivals will increase by an average 3.3% per year
between 2010 and 2030 (an average increase of 43 million arrivals a year), reaching an estimated 1.8 billion arrivals
by 2030 (UNWTO, 2011, 2012). Upper and lower forecasts for global tourism in 2030 are between approximately
two billion arrivals (real transport costs continue to fallscenario) and 1.4 billion arrivals (slower than expected
economic recovery and future growthscenario) (UNWTO, 2011). Most growth is forecast to come from the emerging
economies and the Asia-Pacic, and by 2030 it is estimated that 57% of international arrivals will be in what are
currently classied as emerging economies (UNWTO, 2011, 2012).
Given the past and projected growth of international tourism, it is strongly promoted as an important element in
poverty reduction strategies and development nancing. International tourism to developing economies is perceived
as important by policy-makers because it is regarded as an avenue for competitive economic specialization and improve-
ment in foreign exchange ow within the context of increasingly open economies (UNCTAD, 2004). The UNWTO
(2006, p. 1) outlines several reasons why tourism is an especially suitable economic development sector for LDCs:
1. Tourism is consumed at the point of production; the tourist has to go to the destination and spend his/her
money there, opening an opportunity for local businesses of all sorts, and allowing local communities to benet
through the informal economy, by selling goods and services directly to visitors;
2. Most LDCs have a comparative advantage in tourism over developed countries...;
3. Tourism is a more diverse industry than many others...;
4. Tourism is labour intensive, which is particularly important in tackling poverty...;
5. It creates opportunities for many small and micro entrepreneurs, either in the formal or informal economy; it is
an industry in which start-up costs and barriers to entry are generally low or can easily be lowered;
6. Tourism provides not only material benets for the poor but also cultural pride...;
7. The infrastructure required by tourism, such as transport and communications, water supply and sanitation,
public security, and health services, can also benet poor communities.
Similar positions have been advocated by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC, 2004) and the World
Economic Forum (WEF) (2009a, 2009b), as well as international development agencies, including the Asian
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Development Bank, British Department for International Development, Canadian International Development
Agency, German Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit, Inter-American Development Bank, Swedish
Agency for International Development Cooperation, and United States Agency for International Development
(Gössling et al., 2009; Hawkins and Mann, 2007). Nevertheless, such perspectives with respect to tourism and
sustainability, including poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation, have also been substantially criticized
(Chok et al., 2007; Hall, 2007, 2010a). Blakes (2008) study of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda indicated that hotels
and restaurants, and in particular the transport industry, provide below-average shares of income to poor house-
holds compared with other export sectors, leading to the conclusion that these results paint a fairly poor picture
of the ability of tourism to alleviate poverty(Blake, 2008, p. 511), particularly because tourism tends to be
disproportionally benecial to the already wealthy (Blake et al., 2008; Schilcher, 2007) and can reinforce existing
inequalities. In the case of Thailand, the expansion of foreign tourism demand creates general equilibrium effects
that undermine protability in tradable sectors (such as agriculture) from which the poor derive a substantial
fraction of their income(Wattanakuljarus and Coxhead, 2008, p. 929). Similarly, the contribution of international
aviation to sustainable development has also been brought into question (Daley, 2009; Walker and Cook, 2009).
In addition to contrary evidence for tourism being a net contributor to poverty reduction and alleviation, tourism
also contributes substantially to resource consumption and global change (Gössling and Hall, 2006; Scott et al.,
2012b). Although the notion of sustainable tourism is at the forefront of public and private sector policy statements,
the more that is written about sustainable tourism the less sustainable it potentially appears to be (Bramwell and
Lane, 2012; Hall, 2011). At least two primary reasons can be put forward as to why the sustainability of tourism is
being questioned. First, while tourism has been promoted in the development community for over 40 years, the
mid- to long-term relative contribution of tourism projects to development strategies remains poorly evaluated
(Hawkins and Mann, 2007). There has been greater interest by international development agencies in advocating
tourism and initiating projects than in critically assessing the consequences of tourism-related development
strategies (Gössling et al., 2009; Zapata et al., 2011). Second, in which the rst reason is embedded, the paradig-
matic and institutional context of tourism and sustainable development often makes it difcult to recognize other
policy alternatives and priorities (Hall, 2011).
In tourism policy terms, sustainability is primarily seen as being environmentaland development as economic(and
to a lesser extent social), and the concept of sustainable tourism or sustainable tourism development aims to mitigate
the paradox between them without fundamentally affecting existing economic relationships (Hall, 2009; Saarinen,
2006). This approach is conveyed at various scales of governance, but is perhaps most dramatically seen in the work
of inuential supranational organizations (UNWTO, 2002, 2007, WEF, 2009a, 2009b: WTTC, 2003, 2009).
The UNEP and UNWTO (2005, p. 9) argue that Delivering sustainable development means striking a balance
betweenthe three dimensions or pillarsof sustainable development of economic sustainability, social sustainabil-
ity and environmental sustainability. In the case of the UNWTO, as well as those of many other supranational,
national and destination governance bodies, the rhetoric of balancehas become a cornerstone of sustainable
tourism (Hall, 2009, 2010b) and aviation (Walker and Cook, 2009) policy paradigms. For example, according to
then UNWTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli, the UNWTO is committed to seek balanced and equitable
policies to encourage both responsible energy related consumption as well as anti-poverty operational patterns. This
can and must lead to truly sustainable growth within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals
(UNWTO, 2007). Yet the continuing contribution of a growing tourism industry to resource consumption and
environmental change raises a clear question as to whether balancedsustainable tourism or green economy/
growthapproaches are actually achievable. Nowhere is this situation more pronounced than with respect to the
relationship between tourism and climate change.
Tourism and Climate Change
Tourism transport, accommodation and activities combined were estimated by a UNWTO commissioned study to
contribute an estimated 5% to global anthropogenic emissions of CO
in 2005 (Scott et al., 2008). Most CO
are associated with transport, with aviation accounting for 40% of tourisms overall carbon footprint, followed by cars
114 C. M. Hall et al.
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DOI: 10.1002/sd
(32%) and accommodation (21%). Aviations share of global emissions of CO
are generated by the less than 2% of the
worlds population who annually participate in international aviation (Peeters et al., 2007). Cruise ships account for
around 1.5% of global tourism emissions (19.17 Mt CO
) (Eijgelaar et al., 2010). However, this assessment does not
include the impact of short-lived greenhouse gases (GHGs). A more accurate assessment of tourismscontribution
to global warming can be made on the basis of radiative forcing. Scott et al. (2010) estimate that tourism contributed
to 5.212.5% of all anthropogenic forcing in 2005, with a best estimate of about 8%.
While tourisms contribution to climate change is considerable, the contribution of emissions from tourism is
expected to grow substantially in absolute terms and proportionately if other economic sectors are able to achieve
their emission reduction targets (legislated or voluntary). Based on a BAU scenario for 2035, which considers
changes in travel frequency, length of stay, travel distance and technological efciency gains, Scott et al. (2008)
suggest that CO
emissions from tourism will grow by about 135% to 2035 (compared with 2005), totalling approx-
imately 3059 Mt (Table 1). Most of this growth will be associated with air travel, which transported 51% of interna-
tional visitor arrivals in 2011 (UNWTO, 2012). These estimates are similar to WEF (2009a) estimates and are
consistent with Airbus (2012) and Boeing (2012) projections that the aviation global eet will double between
2011 and 2031 with a 4.9% per year growth in passenger numbers. The IEA (2009) baseline scenario in which
air travel almost quadruples between 2005 and 2050 represents a tripling of energy used for aviation, accounting
for 19% of all transport energy used as compared with 11% in 2006 (IEA, 2009).
It is important to note that, although international tourism provides for only 16% of tourism trips, it makes a
disproportionate contribution to emissions. Scott et al. (2008, p. 127) calculated that, although four billion domestic
overnight tourist trips generated 479 Mt CO
emissions (120 kg per trip), 750 million international overnight tourist
trips were responsible for close to the same level of emissions (371 Mt CO
or 494 kg per trip), meaning that, within
emissions generated by tourists (850 Mt CO
), 56% came from domestic tourist trips and the other 44% from
international tourist trips, in which air travel caused 87% of CO
emissions (321 Mt CO
If travel and tourism remain on a BAU pathway then they will become an increasing source of GHG emissions in
the medium- to long-term future. Even if the per capita per trip contribution of tourists to GHG emissions continues
to fall at the historic rate of greater efciencies from technological, governance and management innovations, the
absolute contribution will continue to grow as a result of increasing tourism mobility (Gössling et al., 2010;
Hall, 2010b, 2011). If the world economy embarks on an absolute emission reduction pathway, growing tourism
emissions remain juxtaposed to declining overall emissions, and an increasing share of the global carbon budget will
be the responsibility of the tourism sector (Scott et al., 2010).
Findings at the global scale are also conrmed at the national level, with tourism demonstrating relatively low eco-
efciency (Gössling, submitted manuscript). For example, the eco-efciency of the Dutch economy is approximately
Organization Absolute growth rates expected
UNWTOUNEPWMO (2008) Emissions of CO
will grow by 135% over 30 years, from 1304 Mt CO
in 2005 to
3059 Mt CO
in 2035
UNWTO (2011, 2012) Growth in international tourist arrivals 20102030 of 3.3% per year (central projection)
WEF (2009) Tourism related CO
emissions (excluding aviation) will grow at 2.5% per year
until 2035, and aviation emissions at 2.7%, with total estimated emissions of
3164 Mt CO
by 2035 (plus 143%)
Airbus (2012) Growth in revenue passenger kilometres by 150% between 2011 and 2031 (averaging
4.7% per year), with the global eet of passenger aircraft growing from 15 560 to
32 550 in the same period
Boeing (2012) Growth in global aircraft eet from 19 890 in 2011 to 39 780 by 2031; airline trafcin
revenue passenger kilometres: 5% per year
IEA (2009) Air travel almost quadruples between 2005 and 2050 with an average worldwide growth
rate of 3.5% per year, but over 4% worldwide until 2025
IMO (2009) Absolute emissions from shipping will grow by 1.92.7% per year up to 2050
Table 1. Anticipated growth rates in tourism and transport, various organizations
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0.3 kg CO
/, while for tourism the average value is 1 kg CO
/(de Bruijn et al., 2010). Tourism is the fth most
emission intense of 17 sectors in Australia (Dwyer et al., 2010), and the fourth of 22 sectors in Switzerland (Perch-
Nielsen et al., 2010).
Industry projections also show absolute emission increases due to expected growth in trafc volumes of 4.7%
(RPK; Airbus 2012) to 5.0% (Boeing 2012) per year. The International Civil Aviation Organisations (ICAOs)
ambitious 2%/year fuel efciency goal to 2050 would lead to overall growth in emissions. Owens et al.(2010)suggest
that there will be a 2.03.6-fold increase in CO
emissions from aviation by 2050. Even the IEA (2009) Blue Shifts
scenario, developed to describe a strong state interventionist stance with respect to policies that dampen air travel
growth, the development of high-speed rail and the aggressive promotion of the use of telecommunications as a
substitute for travel, still forecasts a tripling of air travel between 2005 and 2050. At the national level, the UK Depart-
ment of Transport (2007) predicts that, taking radiative forcing into account, the 9% contribution of aviation in 2005
to total UK emissions will have grown to approximately 15% in 2020 and 29% in 2050. It is thus fundamentally
unclear how carbon neutralpositions are to be achieved in the forecasts and scenarios posited by these organizations.
How then can growth in tourism, especially with respect to aviation, that is going to lead to continuing increases in
emissions in the foreseeable future, be reconciled with sustainable development?
Restricting Tourisms Contribution to Climate Change
Consumer Response
Continued growth in emissions from aviation and tourism are clearly in conict with global climate change and
GHG reduction goals. Despite enthusiasm for voluntary changes in consumer tourism behaviour, individuals do
not appear willing to give up international travel or change markedly (Cohen and Higham, 2011; Gössling et al.,
2012). As Peeters et al. (2009, p. 248) observe, Many people have a powerful belief in their personal right and need
to travel, coupled at the same time with a contradictory powerful belief that others should be denied that right for the
good of the planet. Even the most environmentally aware tourists might not be more willing to alter travel behaviour
and may even be among the most active travellers (Barr et al., 2009; Gössling et al., 2009; McKercher et al., 2010).
Consumers fatigued from energy conservation and emission reduction efforts at home and work may be even more
susceptible to rebound effects while on holidays. Given the failure of education and social marketing to change
consumer behaviour, Scott et al. (2012b) therefore argue that universal climate policy and regulatory strategies
appear to be the best option for generating change.
Government Response
There is currently no agreed global framework for emission reductions, although voluntary post-Kyoto emission
reduction pledges have been made by individual countries (Jotzo, 2010). International aviation is not included in
the Kyoto Protocol and has not been an explicit topic of post-Kyoto emission reduction negotiations. Under Kyoto,
bunker fuels for international aviation and shipping are separated from national emission inventories. Emissions from
international aviation are currently not accounted for by any nation. Although the Kyoto Protocol states that ICAO is
responsible for limiting and reducing emissions from international aviation in Annex I nations (ICAO, 1997), little
progress has been made towards reductions (Lyle, 2011).
The EU included aviation in an emission trading scheme (EU ETS) at the start of 2012 (European Parliament and
Council, 2009), but deferred application of the scheme to ights operated to and from countries outside the ETS in
November 2012, ostensibly because of progress in global aviation emission negotiations (European Commission,
2012). The inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS has been subject to legal challenge and intense opposition from
trading partners, including China and the United States, which prohibited their airlines from participating. Neverthe-
less, the EU ETS will not signicantly change tourism ows or reduce absolute aviation sector emissions (Gössling
et al., 2008; Mayor and Tol, 2010; Scott et al., 2010, 2012a), with ticket price increases being signicantly lower than
fuel surcharges, baggage fees, and airport development levies passed on by airlines to airline customers (Ares, 2012).
116 C. M. Hall et al.
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No country has a comprehensive strategy to achieve measurable and monitorable emission reductions in tourism
(OECD and UNEP, 2011; Scott et al., 2012b). Most countries currently severely underestimate their national tourism
emissions, as they omit bunker fuel use from national inventories (Gössling, submitted manuscript). In Australia,
air transport will more than quadruple by 2050 even though domestic aviation is covered under a 2012 emission
trading scheme (Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, 2012). Moreover, most, if not all, national and
regional tourism strategies continue to focus on growth in visitor numbers (OECD and UNEP, 2011). Indeed, the
sheer size of the CO
-e emissions produced by the air travel of visitors to and residents from New Zealand (7893
and 3948 Gg, respectively, in 2005) means that no single offsetting scheme targeted inside the country appears
physically or politically achievable (Smith and Rodger, 2009).
Industry Response
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has a visionthat carbon neutral growthcan be achieved in the
medium term, reaching a stated 50% target in 2050 with respect to current aviation emissions, and that a plane
producing no emissions can be built within 50 years. In its four-pillar strategy, IATA (2009) acknowledges that
much of the technology that will be necessary to achieve these goals remains unknown. The ICAO (2009) propose
improvements in fuel efciency of at least 2% per year until 2050, primarily through technical advances, improved
air trafc management (ATM), economic measuresand the use of biofuel. IATA (2012a) suggests that taxes and
charges have uncertain environmental benets, while emission trading in an open global system is preferable
and should be introduced by the ICAO. In aviation, the industry proposition is thus largely to not instigate legisla-
tion, as the problem will be resolved in the longer-term future with currently unknown technology. With respect to
shipping, the IMO (2009) anticipates emission reductions under new agreements on efciency, but still expects
emissions to at least double by 2050. Although accommodation accounts for 21% of global emissions from
tourism (Scott et al., 2008), there is very limited evidence that the sector has begun to engage in low-carbon building
or retrotting (Su et al., 2012).
The industry response to climate change suggests that technical solutions that promote greater energy efciency
are the primary means to address emissions. However, absolute emission reductions are unlikely, as growth in
transport volumes and infrastructure outweighs efciency gains (Scott et al., 2010), and potentially large rebound
effects (Arvesen et al., 2011; Santarius, 2012) have not been accounted for in the tourism sector. The IEA (2009)
suggest that the technical capacity to reduce the energy intensity of new aircraft is equivalent to 0.61.0% per year
on average and that the annual historical rate of improvement in load factors (approximately 0.2% per year)
could reach close to its upper limit by 2025. The reliance on biofuel as a technological solution remains problem-
atic because of uncertainties over full life-cycle emission benets and land-use requirements that put energy
and food crops in conict(UNEP,2009;Vera-MoralesandSchäfer, 2009). Even if breakthrough energy
technology and sources do become available, this does not mean that oldcarbon-intensive energy sources will
stop being used. Instead, they will probably run in parallel as investment costs in such technologies are paid
off (Hoffmann, 2011).
The industry position is thus questionable not only from a scientic viewpoint but from an ethical perspective as
well, as it postpones action on the basis of highly uncertain technology futures; it also omits the fact that, in current
sustainablegreen growth strategies, the signicance of rebound effects is unconsidered, i.e. energy consumption
will grow as a result of lower prices (Arvesen et al., 2011; Santarius, 2012). Rebound effects do not appear to have
been considered in any forecasts of potential efciency gains in the tourism industry or in IPCC reports (Jenkins
et al., 2011). No studies have been conducted on rebound effects specically in relation to tourism, although Sorrell
(2007) observed that increased consumption of air travel and tourism would potentially be driven by increases in
macroeconomic efciency gains, while Hall (2009, 2010b) cautioned as to the impacts of an efciency focus in
relation to sustainable tourism consumption. Barker et al. (2009) modelled the rebound effects resulting from the
global energy efciency measures incorporated into the IPCCs (2007) Fourth Assessment Report and estimated that
for transport there would be a worldwide direct rebound of 9.1% in 2020 and 9.1% in 2030, and a macroeconomic
rebound of 26.9% in 2020 and 43.1% in 2030, thus leading to a total economy wide rebound of 36.0% in 2020
and 52.2% in 2030. This compares with an estimated rebound for all sectors of 31% of the projected energy savings
potential by 2020, rising to 52% by 2030 (Barker et al., 2009). If this scale of rebound were applied to tourism then,
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even allowing for the estimated greater use of low-carbon fuels, the potential increase in tourism related emissions
would likely be over 200% by 2030.
Despite the challenges faced by increasing absolute emissions from the various sectors of the tourism industry,
the notion of green growth has now become an integral component of industry discourse on tourism and sustain-
ability (Cabrini, 2012; UNWTO and UNEP, 2011). Nevertheless, the optimism of such a growth paradigm based
on material/resource/energy efciency, major changes in the energy mix to renewables and continued increases
in visitor numbers is extremely problematic given constraints of arithmetic of growth and efciency limits,
governance and market limits, and systemic limits (Hoffmann, 2011). Climate change provides an even greater
challenge to sustainable green growth, because not only are absolute reductions in emissions going to be difcult
to achieve but its effects will potentially cancel the supposed benets of the pursuit of international tourism in
many cases.
In 2009 the GHF (2009, p. 1) reported that climate change already leaves over 300 000 people dead, 325 million
people seriously affected and economic losses of US$125 billion (more than all the present world aid). Four billion
people are regarded as vulnerable to climate change, and 500 million people are at extreme risk. Given that the
tourism sector has already acknowledged it contributes approximately 5% of global CO
2008; WEF, 2009b) this means that in proportional terms in 2009 tourism emissions were already responsible
for about 15 000 deaths, seriously affecting 8.25 million people, and producing economic losses of US$6.25 billion.
Tourism is promoted as a poverty reduction strategy in the less developed world, yet, according to the estimates of
GHF (2009), the economic losses from climate change in the developing world were already greater than the US
$5.42 billion of tourism expenditures in the 49 LDCs (Hall, 2010b).
The continued growth of tourism at current predicted rates will lead to substantial absolute increases in CO
emissions. However, the effects of climate change as well as the capacity to adapt, along with any benets from
tourism, are not evenly distributed. LDCs, the very countries that are meant to be benetting most from aviation-
based international tourism, are generally the ones most vulnerable to climate change (Ahmed et al., 2009; DARA,
2012; Stanton et al., 2011; UNFCCC, 2008). Major tourism and travel bodies have not yet recognized the paradox of
this situation, and continue to promote tourism development that relies on continued long-haul visitor growth.
Policies that promote more sustainable forms of tourism consumption, such as encouraging domestic tourism,
together with a focus on income distribution and welfare issues at destinations, as part of long-term development
strategies are not sufciently considered (Zapata et al., 2011).
The effects of climate change will have far-reaching impacts on the tourism system and destinations (Scott et al.,
2012b), as well as the theory and practice of sustainable development. Tourists have the greatest capacity to adapt to
the impacts of climate change, with relative freedom to avoid affected destinations. The regional manifestations of
climate change will generate both negative and positive impacts in the tourism sector and will vary substantially by
market segment and geographic region (Scott et al., 2012a). Despite adopting the rhetoric of sustainability, tourism
policies almost universally follow pro-growth paradigms, where annual visitor growth that results in absolute emis-
sion increases is considered an indicator of success and a proxy for wealth transfer to poor local populations. In the
light of the discussion presented here, there is urgent reason to reconsider such strategies and develop tourism
systems with a stronger focus on energy use and emission avoidance. Organizations that advocate tourism as a
sustainable development mechanism need to develop a greater understanding of the implications of climate change
for the sustainability of tourism destination markets, products and services. It is also incumbent on these organiza-
tions to develop defensible plans to demonstrate how emission reductions, consistent with their pronounced
aspirationalor visionarytargets, can be achieved. These plans should also include precautionary principles with
regard to technological progress and alternative pathways to success. Until such time, it is difcult to consider many
forms of international tourism sustainable.
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... Horng et al., 2013;Hsiao, 2016;Hsiao et al., 2021;Nawijn & Peeters, 2013). Nevertheless, despite the much-discussed environmental impact of tourism from the perspectives of policymakers, industry practitioners, environmentalists and local communities (Gössling & Schumacher, 2010;Hall et al., 2013;Hsiao, 2016;Zha et al., 2019), research on LC tourism, particularly in the context of island destination experience, is relatively scarce. Although scholars intermittently explored LC tourism policy implementation (Gössling & Schumacher, 2010), assessment indicators for travel agencies (Cho et al., 2016;Hsiao, 2016) and the development efficiency of the LC economy (Zha et al., 2019), only a handful of studies focused on the multidimensional attributes influencing LC tourist perception through the theoretical lens of quality tourist experience, which is a crucial component of tourism consumption. ...
... These antagonistic directions in the tourism development raise criticisms and concerns and have forced the industry to act more seriously towards it, especially when tourism has been amongst the industries which incessantly produces CO 2 emission and contributes to climate change (Gössling et al., 2016;Hall et al., 2013). ...
The impact of climate change has been evidenced in several tourist destinations, and triggered concerns on the destination development. Low-carbon tourism has become a national, if not, global agenda that can be used to mitigate the climate change impact caused by the tourist destinations. To respond to this timely agenda and the United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s callout, this study establishes and verifies important components and attributes of low-Carbon destinations, particularly on island destination, which are still unexamined in the literature. Taking on the perspective of tourists, this study is driven by Stimulus–Organism- Response (S-O-R) theory which is a consolidative theoretical framework that integrates environmental input (external), emotional status (internal) and behavioural responses to explain actual behaviours of low-Carbon tourists. Integrated Generalised Structured Component Analysis (IGSCA) and Multigroup Analysis were performed on 1,808 travellers who posed different degrees of psychological fear of the COVID-19 pandemic. During COVID-19, health and safety risks have become a critical concern, therefore, this study further explores the moderating effect of risk from the perspective of the low- and high-perceived risk travellers, before identifying the attitude-behaviour gaps of these two groups. The study provides theoretical insights into low-Carbon tourism experience at the island destinations and offers useful managerial implications on low-carbon destination development.
... A green hotel image gave rise to favourable behavioural intentions by hotel guests (Lee, Hsu, Han & Kim, 2010). This is well anticipated by the report of Green Hotelier (2005), that, for example, 83% of English holidaymakers would choose a hotel with a green award, and the American public is likely to pay 6% more for green travel products and services. Then, how can hoteliers ensure that a green image is embedded holistically in a hotel and enjoys guest satisfaction and loyalty? ...
... These plans should also include precautionary principles with regard to technological progress and alternative pathways to success. Until such time, it is difficult to consider many forms of international tourism sustainable (Hall, Scott & Gössling, 2013). Bramwell & Lane (2013) refer that at the book The politics of climate change (2009) Anthony Giddens contends that "for better or worse, the state retains many of the powers that have to be invoked if a serious impact on global warming is to be made", so that to more fully address climate change "the chances of success will depend a great deal upon government and the state" (p. ...
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A hotel with a sound green image can achieve cost reduction from the use of energy and water, appeal to investors, attract and retain highly motivated employees and cultivate guest loyalty, thereby securing top market share and position. From the other hand, as climate change is expected to affect tourism more than most other economic sectors, it should be in the tourism sector's own interest to make a considerable contribution to emission reductions, even though there is also a clear ethical and moral dimension with regard to the human suffering caused by climate change. This paper shows that hotels use cleaner technologies in their operations in order to attract green consumers and so policy makers need to consider the effectiveness of promoting changes in travel behaviour due to sustainable reasons. Their managers are convinced that the concepts of tourism and environment are interrelated because tourism can't be developed without the natural environment.
... More specifically, the volume of sectorial emissions has been approximated to 8% of the global GHG emissions, part of which can be attributed to activities resulting from and relating to individual consumption (Lenzen et al., 2018). While this makes these activities a potential target to keep emission growth within bounds, some scholars have argued that those who are worn out from mitigative efforts in their everyday life could be prone to rebound effects once they are on vacation (Hall et al., 2013). It is because of this that understanding the reasons for why individual consumers could hesitate to show the same level of engagement across contexts promises to yield important insights for policy strategies and behavioral interventions that seek to promote sustainable forms of tourism. ...
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A sample of tourists (N = 780) responded to a survey addressing purchasing intentions and consumption motives in relation to buying sustainable groceries at a local food market. These intentions and motives were contrasted for two consumption contexts: on vacation vs. at home. An initial analysis of the data indicated that self-reported purchasing intentions were weaker for a vacation scenario than for a home scenario. Further analyses suggested that motives associated with purchasing intentions were not universal between contexts. At home, normative motives (i.e., good conscience) were positively associated with intentions, whereas other motives failed to explain significant variance (i.e., value for money, calm and safe, avoid boredom, pleasure, and good impression). On vacation, associations with intentions followed a similar pattern, except for the finding that hedonic motives (i.e., pleasure) added explanatory variance. Despite the increased importance of hedonic motives on vacation compared to at home, normative motives showed the strongest association with purchasing intentions in both consumption contexts. The findings are discussed with reference to the literature on contextual discrepancies in environmental behavior, while noting possible implications for promoting sustainable consumption among tourists.
... First, as the tourism sector grows, the exploitation of natural resources increases the risk of environmental damage due partly to changes in land use associated with tourism (Tovar and Lockwood, 2008;Özturk, Al-Mulali, and Saboori, 2016;Bilgili and others, 2017;Raza and others, 2017;Katircioglu, Gökmenoglu, and Eren, 2018). Second, the rise in tourism increases energy consumption and consequently leads to higher levels of GHG emissions in the environment, especially in small island states (Gössling, 2000;2002;2013;Becken, Frampton, and Simmons, 2001;Dwyer and others, 2010;Hall, Scott, and Gössling, 2013;Lee and Brahmasrene, 2013;Katircioglu, Feridun, and Kilinc, 2014;Gössling and Peeters, 2015;Zaman and others, 2016;Paramati, Alam, and Chen, 2017;Koçak, Ulucak, and Ulucak, 2020;Gao, Xu, and Zhang, 2021;Tian, Bélaïd, and Ahmad, 2021). This study, however, contributes to the literature by analyzing the impact of international tourism on CO2 emissions in a relatively homogeneous panel of small island states in the Caribbean with the latest data covering a long period and thereby providing robust estimates based on alternative specifications and methodologies. ...
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Tourism was one of the fastest-growing sectors before the COVID-19 pandemic, accounting for about 10 percent of global GDP. But it has also created a number of challenges including environmental degradation, especially in small island countries where the carbon footprint of tourism constitute substantial share of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This study empirically investigates the impact of tourism on CO2 emissions in a relatively homogenous panel of 15 Caribbean countries over the period 1960–2019. The results show that international tourist arrivals have a statistically and economically significant effect on CO2 emissions, after controlling for other economic, institutional and social factors. Therefore, managing tourism sustainably requires a comprehensive set of policies and reforms aimed at reducing its impact on environmental quality and curbing excessive dependency on fossil fuel-based energy consumption.
... First, as the tourism sector grows, the exploitation of natural resources increases the risk of environmental damage due partly to changes in land use associated with tourism development (Tovar and Lockwood 2008;Özturk, Al-Mulali, and Saboori 2016;Bilgili 2017;Raza 2017;Katircioglu, Gökmenoglu, and Eren 2018). Second, the rise in tourism increases energy consumption and consequently leads to higher levels of GHG emissions in the environment, especially in small island states (Gössling 2000(Gössling , 2002(Gössling , 2013Becken, Frampton, and Simmons 2001;Dwyer and others, 2010;Hall, Scott, and Gössling 2013;Lee and Brahmasrene 2013;Katircioglu, Feridun, and Kilinc 2014;Gössling and Peeters 2015;Zaman et al. 2016;Paramati, Alam, and Chen 2017;Koçak, Ulucak, and Ulucak 2020;Gao, Xu, and Zhang 2021;Tian, Bélaïd, and Ahmad 2021). This study, on the other hand, contributes to the literature by analyzing the impact of international tourism on CO 2 emissions in a relatively homogeneous panel of small island states in the Caribbean with the latest data covering a long period from 1960 to 2019 and thereby providing robust estimates based on alternative specifications and estimation methodologies. ...
Full-text available
Tourism was one of the fastest-growing sectors of the global economy before the COVID-19 pandemic, accounting for around 10% of global GDP. This has created a number of challenges including environmental degradation, especially in small island countries where the carbon footprint of tourism constitute a substantial share of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This study investigates the impact of tourism on CO2 emissions in a relatively homogenous panel of 15 Caribbean countries over the period 1960-2019. The results show that international tourist arrivals have a statistically and economically significant effect on CO2 emissions, after controlling for other economic, institutional and social factors. Managing tourism sustainably requires a comprehensive set of policies and reforms aimed at reducing its environmental impact, and curbing excessive dependency on fossil fuel-based energy consumption.
... It also stated that the progress made so far for the reduction of bunker fuel's GHG emissions is not satisfactory. The relation between climate change and sustainable international tourism has been examined (Hall et al., 2013). The authors mentioned that although the positive economic impacts of international tourism are undoubted, its contribution to climate change is significant. ...
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Impacts of the tourism industry on climate change are not negligible as indicated in various studies implemented so far. The eco-effectiveness of this industry can be assessed taking into account its carbon emissions combined with the tourism-generated income. The carbon intensity of the tourism industry in the island of Crete, Greece has been compared with the tourism-related carbon intensity in other tourist territories and countries as well as with the corresponding value of the Greek economy. Existing data in published literature have been used for comparison. Various measures resulting in the decrease of the carbon intensity of the tourism industry in Crete have also been examined. It has been found that the tourism-related carbon intensity in Crete is in the same range of values reported in other tourist territories. However, it is higher than the corresponding value of the whole Greek economy. If however the emissions due to international flights of tourists to Crete are excluded from the estimations, the resulting carbon intensity of this industry is significantly lower compared with its initial estimations. It is also lower than the value of the whole Greek economy as well as the required carbon intensity for achieving global sustainability.
... Öngörülebilir gelecekte turizm, emisyonlardaki mevcut yüksek büyüme eğilimini sürdürürse, küresel bir sera gazı kaynağı haline gelebilir (Scott, Peeters ve Gössling, 2010). Bu yüzden turizm sadece iklim değişikliğine sebep olmakla kalmaz, aynı zamanda iklim değişikliğinden de güçlü bir şekilde etkilenir, bu da kalkınma ve yönetimde ciddi zorluklara ve potansiyel paradokslara neden olur (Hall,Scott ve Gössling, 2013 (2010), ulaşım ve konaklama gibi turizm ve seyahat endüstrisi faaliyetlerinin toplam CO2 emisyonlarının %4,4'ünü oluşturduğunu ortaya koymuştur. Turizm endüstrisinde en fazla taşımacılık faaliyetleri yaşanmakta ve çevre kirliliğine en fazla bu faaliyetler sebebiyet vermektedir (Liu vd., 2011). ...
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This study aims to analyze the relationship between tourism and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 10 countries with the highest number of incoming tourists during 1995-2018. The empirical analysis confirms the existence of a long-run relationship between tourism and CO2 emissions. Augmented Mean Group (AMG) is used to estimate long-term coefficients. The results of the AMG estimator show that tourism increases CO2 emissions in France, China, Italy, and Turkey, and decreases them in Spain, United States of America (USA), Mexico, Germany and Thailand. The results of this study show that the international tourism industry in France, China, Italy and Turkey needs to be taken seriously from an environmental perspective. The results of the Fourier TY Granger analysis state that a unidirectional causality relationship was found from tourism to CO2 emissions in Spain, Turkey and Mexico, from CO2 emissions to tourism in China and Germany, and a bidirectional causality relationship was found between tourism and CO2 emissions in the USA. No causal relationship was found in France, Italy, Thailand and England. Looking at the panel as a whole, it can be seen that there is a bidirectional causal relationship between tourism and CO2 emissions.
Purpose This empirical study explores the role of tourism development (TD) in India's environmental degradation. Since sustainable eco-tourism is essential for India, whose long-term economic prosperity also depends on robust tourism growth. Hence, this study offers specific policy proposals for sustainable tourism based on the simulated outcomes. Design/methodology/approach The study employed the quarterly data from 1995Q1–2018Q4 for empirical validation. Moreover, the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) approach, Toda and Yamamoto (TY) causality model and wavelet coherence are also used to analyse the role of TD in India's environmental degradation. Findings The ARDL bounds test confirms the long-run relationship between the series. The long-run results from the ARDL model also indicate the driving role of TD in India's environmental degradation. In addition, the usage of the wavelet coherence method confirms the changes in TD that leads to changes in India's pollution level at different frequencies and periods, especially in the long run. Research limitations/implications Since this analysis is India-specific, these findings may lack generalizability to other developing economies. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to examine the impact of tourism growth on the natural environment in other countries either in a panel or time-series framework. Practical implications This study suggests crucial implications for checking the pollution sands from TD without sacrificing tourism-led economic growth. This would be possible if the usage of green energy in India's transport sector is promoted. Originality/value This is the first study that analyzes the impact of TD on environmental degradation in the ARDL, wavelet coherence, TY frameworks for enabling the Indian economy for a sustainable tourism practice.
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Tourism like other industries utilizes fossil fuels and emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Estimation of carbon emissions due to tourism in a popular travel destination like the island of Crete, Greece would indicate the ways that emissions could be reduced in order to mitigate climate change. Carbon emissions in various sectors of tourism in Crete including international and domestic transport, accommodation and other activities have been calculated. Available data regarding tourist arrivals, modes of transport, overnight stays carbon emissions in various modes of transport, in accommodation and in other activities have been used in calculations. Annual carbon emissions have been estimated at 488.77 kgCO2 per visitor. International and domestic flights combined with arrivals by ships in Crete have the highest share to the total carbon emissions at 80.69%. Carbon emissions due to tourism including international flights have been estimated at 3.67 kgCO2 per inhabitant in Crete which are high, compared with total carbon emissions in the island at 6.2 kgCO2 per inhabitant. Results indicate that reduction of carbon emissions in international flights is the most appropriate and effective way for reducing carbon emissions due to tourism in Crete.
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In recent years, those who create strategies and policies for urban tourist destinations have been increasingly concerned with the greater or lesser capacity to enjoy public space. Furthermore, the growth of urban areas on a global scale has caused significant changes in the (micro)climate, due to the increase in impermeable surfaces, the anthropogenic heat generated by human activities and the change in air circulation. Taking into account the increasing demands of tourists and residents and the need to improve cities in the face of climate change, the option is to design new measures and action solutions. However, the lack of quality of the input data or their (total) absence, as well as their low spatial resolution, are common. The inadequacy of structures for sharing information is also noted, which significantly limits planning and adaptation actions. This investigation aims to identify the main methods of analysis to monitor the current ability to enjoy tourism based on the integration of objective and subjective domains; and contribute to the definition of action plans which seek to mitigate and adapt the tourism sector to climate change, in the medium and long-term. To assess the validity of these assumptions, the Porto Metropolitan Area, in general, and the municipality of Porto, in particular, were used as case studies. In this investigation, different methods of information and units of analysis were combined, based on a meso approach and local scale for: (i) the identification of critical areas, in an office analysis based essentially on Big Data (i.e., Flickr photographs, AirBnB accommodation and MODIS and LANDSAT satellite imagery); (ii) the assessment of the comfort level for enjoyment in critical areas with high tourist potential through field data collection; and (iii) the identification of prioritization actions and measures to maintain tourism attractiveness in view of climate change, in the medium and long-term. This research highlights the need for more detailed information, the weak interaction between stakeholders and the limitation of resources. Thus, considering that Porto is a destination with a good climate for tourism, and committed to mitigating the effects of climate change, the proposed methodological triangulation allows to outline some measures with predictable action in the short, medium and long-term. Finally, this study aims to make some contributions at national and international level, with the likelihood of the methodological approach adopted to be replicated in other geographical areas, taking into account the particularities of each territory under analysis.
Car ownership is set to triple by 2050, trucking activity will double and air travel could increase fourfold. This book examines how to enable mobility without accelerating climate change. It finds that if we change the way we travel, adopt technologies to improve vehicle efficiency and shift to low-CO2 fuels, we can move onto a different pathway where transport CO2 emissions by 2050 are far below current levels, at costs that are lower than many assume. The report discusses the prospects for shifting more travel to the most efficient modes and reducing travel growth rates, improving vehicle fuel efficiency by up to 50% using cost-effective, incremental technologies, and moving toward electricity, hydrogen, and advanced biofuels to achieve a more secure and sustainable transport future. If governments implement strong policies to achieve this scenario, transport can play its role and dramatically reduce CO2 emissions by 2050.
Hall, C.M. & Lew, A. 2009, Understanding and Managing Tourism Impacts: An Integrated Approach, Routledge, London. 392pp. ISBN 13: 978–0–415–77132–0 (hbk); ISBN 13: 978–0–415–77133–7 (pbk); ISBN 13: 978–0–203–87587–7 (ebk); ISBN 10: 0–415–77132–3 (hbk); ISBN 10: 0–415–77133–1 (pbk); ISBN 10: 0–203–87587–7 (ebk). For copies of the book please order on interlibrary loan or purchase online
Gössling, S. & Hall, C.M. (eds) 2006, Tourism and Global Environmental Change, Routledge, London. 344pp, ISBN 0-415-36131-1 (Hbk) 0-415-36132-x (Pbk) 0-203-01191-0 (Ebk) For a copy of the book please order via a library or purchase online
The study of tourism and indeed the tourism industry is changing constantly. Contemporary Tourism: an international approach presents a new and refreshing approach to the study of tourism, considering issues such as the changing world order, destination marketing, tourism ethics and pro-poor tourism. In particular, it highlights the ongoing threats from terrorism and health scares faced by the tourism industry today, and discusses the related security and risk management strategies, illustrating the potential implications for the patterns and flow of tourism in the future. Divided into five sections, each chapter has a thorough learning structure including chapter objectives, examples, discussion points, self review questions, checklists and case studies. Cases will be both thematic and destination-based and always international. They will be used to emphasise the relationship between general principles and the practice of tourism looking at areas such as business and special interest tourism and the role of technology.The five sections will cover: Contemporary Tourism Systems; The Contemporary Tourist; The Contemporary Tourist Destination; Tourism Futures; Teaching and Studying Contemporary Tourism. The text will also provide an annotated, authoritative and thorough set of resources to guide the reader through the topic area including online resource sites for both students and lecturers.
Aviation emissions are the fastest growing source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Aviation emissions from Annex I Countries increased by 67% between 1990 and 2005 and, according to some estimates, by as much as 90% when aviation emissions from non-Annex I Countries are included for this period. This chapter examines the current status of international aviation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the ongoing debate over developing measures under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) or including the sector in a post-2012 agreement, the moves by the EU to bring international aviation under the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS), and issues that will need to be considered when implementing measures at the international level to reduce the sector's emissions.