Steven Coleman Panos Picture The global tourism industry has reached an unprecedented level of demand. All editorial controlled and overseen by the Guardian. The Travel Foundation has also produced a set of industry tools for agents, operators and suppliers.
The industry could then request this information from local destination managers and compare performance. That the tourism industry is "behind the curve", Preston added, is partly because it is such a fragmented industry. In summing up his hopes for the future, Goodwin argued the case for proactivity.
Helen Marano of the World Travel and Tourism Council pointed out that her organisation has launched its own programme, the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, in collaboration with the International Tourism Partnership.
A key priority for a more sustainable tourism industry identified in the roundtable was to deal with the impact of aviation on spiralling carbon emissions. Tools for the trade Carbon emissions aside, one of the biggest barriers to managing sustainable tourism is the lack of globally recognised tools to measure its impact in destinations.
A more radical notion, put forward by James Goodman, deputy director of Forum for the Future, was "to strip carbon out of the economy completely".
Jane Ashton, director of sustainable development at TUI Travel, argued that there needs to be more data made available from local authorities; TUI had found this was a particular issue with regard to assessing water resources. He said it would be easy to take the tools created to assess the social, economic and environmental impact of that industry and apply them to a hotel or resort.
But while he welcomed the call for better tools for the trade, he said sustainable tourism has to have buy-in from local government. Dr Dirk Glaesser of the UNTWO said one of the misconceptions that needs to be broken down is that companies adopt green practices to save money.
James Goodman said he would like to see it work the other way round, where tourists "see a demonstration of sustainability in action and then bring that home with them".
An alternative solution — a tax on aviation fuel — would, said Goodwin, "at least level the playing field", so that the more efficient airlines could capitalise on the benefits. Johan Lundgren, deputy chief executive of TUI Travel, said this was a major stumbling block for big business.
Demand for air travel is forecast to double byand carbon emissions from flights departing the UK are forecast to increase from Infor the first time in history, the number of tourists crossing international borders in a single year reached over one billion.
How the tourism industry can manage this dramatic growth, while reducing its less sustainable consequences, formed the backdrop for a recent Guardian roundtable discussion sponsored by international leisure travel group TUI Travel.
For the first time in history, the number of tourists crossing international borders in a single year reached over one billion inaccording to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation UNWTO.
Others were less convinced that the ETS is the panacea. Through the use of future aircraft technology, better operational flying techniques and sustainable fuels.
One of the most important indices that should be measured is the economic contribution tourists make to their destination. While these tools are already at the disposal of the industry, what is needed are tools that assess the impact of tourism at destination management level.
Prof Harold Goodwin of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University, argued that waiting for the ETS is a "permit to pollute" that will enable some in the aviation industry to wait until they are given high permit levels and then simply manage them down.
He urged the industry to aim for this goal byrather than merely trying to deal with carbon emissions through ETS, carbon offsetting or otherwise. It could learn from other industries, such as mining, which has had to become very good at socio-economic assessments.
Goodwin believes tourism ministers are too often judged purely on arrivals numbers and bed nights, rather than actual tourism yield.The latest tourism news on the most significant developments in the tourism industry including tourism statistics, destination marketing news, and tourism trends.
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Tourism responsible for nearly one tenth of world's carbon emissions Air transport and an expanding demand for luxury travel mean the impact of the high-polluting industry is likely to continue.
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