COP18 (29/11/12) – Luigi Cabrini, Director of the Sustainable Tourism Programme at the UNWTO, outlines how the tourism industry is feeling the effects of climate change and how it is planning to play its part in tackling it.
Cabrini emphasises that tourism is a major part of the global economy: constituting 6% of global GDP and providing one in every twelve jobs worldwide. He also acknowledges that it is a major carbon emitter, responsible for 5% of the global total.
Cabrini expresses his serious concerns about the effect of climate change on tourist resorts, facing a wide range of problems such as scarcity of water, increased frequency of hurricanes, faster beach erosion and the shortening of ski seasons. He states that this also threatens tourism’s role as a poverty reduction tool.
Cabrini explains that there are plenty of easy ways for emissions from tourism to be reduced: on average 6% of a hotel’s revenue is spent on energy and efficiency measures could easily reduce emissions. He asserts that younger tourists are demanding greener products, even willing to pay a higher price, which is doing a lot to change the priorities of the industry.