Tourism and transportation
Mobility lies at the heart of tourism and, noticeably, there are synergies between transportation and tourism, with technological developments and lower prices for the mobility promoting tourism and, conversely, tourism encouraging the expansion of new transportation possibilities.
There is no doubt that tourism is an important contributor to the emission in general and of GHG in particular. Indeed, data from the WTO Climate Report shows that total CO2 from tourist activities amounts to 4.9% of total world emissions, with mobility playing a relevant role.
Transportation is accomplished by different means, such as car, train, bus, ship, or aircraft. According to a study*, out of the total car transport, 20%-30% are used for tourism mobility. Similarly, 20%-40% of rail travel serves tourism purposes, whereas 60%-90% of air travelling passenger accounts for tourism mobility. At global level, tourism mobility causes around 75% of total CO2 emissions out of all emissions from touristic activities, with aviation representing the bulk of it (40%).
Transportation means emit large quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and very dangerous substances such as benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, 1,3-butadiene, and lead (where leaded gasoline is still in use). Each of these pollutants, along with secondary by-products (such as ozone), can cause adverse effects on health and the environment.
This section of the online educational tool aims to provide an introduction to the best environmental practices in encouraging green transportation in accommodation sector.
*Peeters P (Ed.) (2006) Tourism and Climate Change Mitigation: Methods, greenhouse gas reductions and policies. NHTV Academic Studies No. 6. The Netherlands: Stichting NHTV Breda. 207 p.