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Assessing tourism's global environmental impact 1900-2050

Gössling, Stefan LU and Peeters, Paul (2015) In Journal of Sustainable Tourism 23(5). p.639-659
Abstract
This paper pioneers the assessment of tourism's total global resource use, including its fossil fuel consumption, associated CO2 emissions, fresh water, land, and food use. As tourism is a dynamic growth system, characterized by rapidly increasing tourist numbers, understanding its past, current, and future contributions to global resource use is a central requirement for sustainable tourism assessments. The paper introduces the concept of resource use intensities (RUIs), which represent tourism's resource needs per unit of consumption (e.g. energy per guest night). Based on estimates of RUIs, a first assessment of tourism's global resource use and emissions is provided for the period 1900-2050, utilizing the Peeters Global Tourism... (More)
This paper pioneers the assessment of tourism's total global resource use, including its fossil fuel consumption, associated CO2 emissions, fresh water, land, and food use. As tourism is a dynamic growth system, characterized by rapidly increasing tourist numbers, understanding its past, current, and future contributions to global resource use is a central requirement for sustainable tourism assessments. The paper introduces the concept of resource use intensities (RUIs), which represent tourism's resource needs per unit of consumption (e.g. energy per guest night). Based on estimates of RUIs, a first assessment of tourism's global resource use and emissions is provided for the period 1900-2050, utilizing the Peeters Global Tourism Transport Model. Results indicate that the current (2010) global tourism system may require c.16,700 PJ of energy, 138 km(3) of fresh water, 62,000 km(2) of land, and 39.4 Mt of food, also causing emissions of 1.12 Gt CO2. Despite efforts to implement more sustainable forms of tourism, analysis indicates that tourism's overall resource consumption may grow by between 92% (water) and 189% (land use) in the period 2010-2050. To maintain the global tourism system consequently requires rapidly growing resource inputs, while the system is simultaneously becoming increasingly vulnerable to disruptions in resource flows. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
energy, food, fresh water, greenhouse gas emissions, land use, scenarios, tourism
in
Journal of Sustainable Tourism
volume
23
issue
5
pages
639 - 659
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • wos:000352584200001
  • scopus:84926407955
ISSN
0966-9582
DOI
10.1080/09669582.2015.1008500
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c8282d3e-bec4-4adc-8887-17c9fc716993 (old id 5401343)
date added to LUP
2015-05-19 11:49:47
date last changed
2017-10-29 03:17:25
@article{c8282d3e-bec4-4adc-8887-17c9fc716993,
  abstract     = {This paper pioneers the assessment of tourism's total global resource use, including its fossil fuel consumption, associated CO2 emissions, fresh water, land, and food use. As tourism is a dynamic growth system, characterized by rapidly increasing tourist numbers, understanding its past, current, and future contributions to global resource use is a central requirement for sustainable tourism assessments. The paper introduces the concept of resource use intensities (RUIs), which represent tourism's resource needs per unit of consumption (e.g. energy per guest night). Based on estimates of RUIs, a first assessment of tourism's global resource use and emissions is provided for the period 1900-2050, utilizing the Peeters Global Tourism Transport Model. Results indicate that the current (2010) global tourism system may require c.16,700 PJ of energy, 138 km(3) of fresh water, 62,000 km(2) of land, and 39.4 Mt of food, also causing emissions of 1.12 Gt CO2. Despite efforts to implement more sustainable forms of tourism, analysis indicates that tourism's overall resource consumption may grow by between 92% (water) and 189% (land use) in the period 2010-2050. To maintain the global tourism system consequently requires rapidly growing resource inputs, while the system is simultaneously becoming increasingly vulnerable to disruptions in resource flows.},
  author       = {Gössling, Stefan and Peeters, Paul},
  issn         = {0966-9582},
  keyword      = {energy,food,fresh water,greenhouse gas emissions,land use,scenarios,tourism},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {639--659},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Journal of Sustainable Tourism},
  title        = {Assessing tourism's global environmental impact 1900-2050},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2015.1008500},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2015},
}