A report published in November last year by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme and Accenture, has highlighted some of the challenges facing the global tourism industry when it comes to decarbonisation.
- Tourism is a key contributor both to global GDP and global emissions
- There have been calls for a major reboot of the sector following Covid-19
- Airlines are now able to offset emissions in an international carbon exchange
- Air carrier organisations in both MENA and the EU have set net-zero targets
In 2019 the sector saw its 10th consecutive year of growth; with 1.47bn international tourist arrivals worldwide, it contributed more than 10% of global GDP and accounted for one in 10 jobs.
However, the industry was also responsible for some 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
For a range of countries – many of them developing economies – tourism was a principal source of income prior to the pandemic. In this sense, the border closures and lockdowns of the past two years have been particularly deleterious, and many such countries are understandably keen to reboot their tourism industries as soon as possible.
However, some industry bodies are arguing that a precipitate return to “business as normal” would ultimately prove damaging and unsustainable. Instead, the industry must commit…