Climate Change places tourism under a new paradigm. Tourism can be a major player in the fight against climate change if the resources and innovativeness of this key global economic sector are fully mobilised and oriented towards achieving this goal. At the same time, tourism sector needs to adapt to the changes that already occurring and it is regarded by many experts as one of the sector in which climate change awareness is among the lowest with little strategic planning efforts to address the issue.
Climate Change will affect tourism destinations, their competitiveness and their sustainability in numerous ways. It may directly alter environmental resources that are critical attractions for tourism, or indirectly alter them through the loss of biodiversity, the scarcity of resources such as water, and the burdens resulting from mitigation policies. While tourists have a great deal of adaptive capacity to prepare themselves to changes, resorts, hotels and other local attractions have a more limited scope to act. Tour operators, transport providers and travel agents have some moderate capacity.
The travel and tourism industry is therefore addressing the challenge of spearheading the global movement in favour of a low carbon economy. The multifunctional and cross-cutting nature of tourism makes it possible to embrace an extraordinary range of climate change mitigation initiatives, particularly in critical sectors such as energy, transport, accommodation, provision of water or risks prevention.
Tourism is an energy intensive industry and as such it is often regarded as a main contributor to climate change, leaving a large carbon footprint behind. It does not need to operate in this way. Tourism that contemplates energy efficiency and a massive shift towards renewable energies as its main lines of action is not only technologically feasible, but also brings untold benefits in terms of economic competitiveness, lower risks of dependence and eradication of energy poverty at destinations.
Transport to destinations and mobility in tourism areas are currently the main contributors to emissions in all tourism operations. The move towards low emission transport systems and means of transport based on sustainable mobility paves the way for a new commitment of tourism to sustainability and creates original attractions at destinations for conducting responsible tourism.
TOWARDS CARBON NEUTRAL DESTINATIONS
POWERING TOURISM WITH SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
PAWING THE WAY TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY AND CLEANER TRANSPORTATION