Tourism makes up 8% of the global greenhouse gas emissions and 7.6% comes from transportation and accommodation alone.
An important issue the world faces is climate change and the upcoming years will define what humanity is able to do. With the Paris Agreement and sustainability becoming a priority among the largest business sectors, there is one remaining industry that positions itself far behind: the tourism industry. As the tourism industry grows exponentially each year, so do the consequences, and it becomes more vital that each individual makes conscious choices when traveling for leisure. The impacts of transportation methods and accommodation are severe but with a few changes, it is possible to decrease your footprint significantly. While businesses must include more sustainable developments, efforts must also occur on an individual scale. The three most important changes that must occur in the tourism industry are clear. Businesses must first implement sustainable developments. Tourists must simultaneously choose more local destinations and less polluting transportation and accommodation methods to make an impact.
The two most popular but environmentally harmful transportation methods are airplanes and cars due to feasibility and costs. According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, 91 million metric tons of CO2 were emitted from commercial operations in 2019 alone. 77,35 million metric tons are from passenger transport. Furthermore, nearly 39 million flights performed globally in 2019 by the airline industry, and 90g of CO2 per passenger kilometer was emitted on average from passenger aviation. While that was a 2% decrease from 2018, the airlines hold a great responsibility to improve fuel efficiency even further.
Fuel-burning from airplanes and passenger vehicles is a direct influence on the increase of global temperatures and air pollution becomes a threat to all living beings that need quality air to live.
Bed & breakfasts, hotels, and holiday houses are at the top of the list of most polluting accommodation options for a holiday stay. For one person per night at a hotel, for example, 21kg of CO2 is emitted. That equates to if a person burned about 10.5kg of coal. Measuring CO2 emissions from the accommodation is also complex as there are a variety of services involved in a hotel alone, such as air conditioning and water utility. Not to mention that additional personal activities such as increasing the heating, using pools, etc., are not calculated.
Thus, it is vital for each individual to be mindful of what types of accommodation and transportation methods they choose. The production of all vehicles and accommodation is also a whole aspect that is often overlooked. Constructing more hotels is not needed, but using land that currently exists is. It is easy to feel like traveling to a different country is the answer and getaway to their stress. However, there are options with high potentiality much closer to home.
So, what can you do?
Choose more short-distance destinations
Choose more sustainable transportation methods, the less fuel we burn, the more CO2 we decrease.
Choose more sustainable accommodation methods
Traveling locally can still be harmful, but it is certainly less harmful than traveling internationally for a short period of time. Choosing public transportation, biking or walking will also contribute significantly to your sustainable holiday. If you would like to know more about how to include new habits into your life, read our article on ways to be a sustainable traveler.
The best part? We can help you get started. Your average Campspace booking for two nights for two people will emit about 65kg of CO2, and that equates to greenhouse gas emissions avoided by trash bags of waste recycled instead of landfilled.
We encourage you to have a look at this article to compare what methods you’re already using and what options you have to be more sustainable.
Up to 95% CO2 reduction if you book a campspace adventure. Learn more