Climate change is a global problem and will affect communities everywhere. Tourism is both a victim and a villain. While tourism businesses are vulnerable to significant impacts from extreme weather events, tourism also contributes to the problem, being heavily reliant on transportation, which contributes around 75% of the sector’s CO2 emissions.
The second International Conference on Climate Change and Tourism held in 2007 resulted in the Davos Declaration, which urges the sector to take action and “progressively reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.” This has since been followed up by the recent publication of the WTO/UNEP report Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in the Tourism Sector (Simpson et al 2008), to help build capacity by sharing case studies, tools and practices from across the globe to tackle the effects of climate change on tourism.
We all have a responsibility to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted so that the adverse effects of climate change are minimised. There are a number of organisations and websites offering advice to help your business reduce its emissions (and save money too!). Key sources of information are:
Green Tourism Business Scheme
South West Tourism Alliance – Cut Costs, Add Appeal, Improve your Impact
Tourism South East - business support
Visit England’s Green Start website
Energy Savings Trust
Business Link – Environment and Efficiency
Global Action Plan
British Chambers of Commerce Environment page
However, even if we were able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero tomorrow, past emissions mean that the climate will continue to change for several decades to come. It is therefore vital that we prepare for the inevitable changes ahead. This toolkit is designed to help your tourism business do just that.
The checklist guides you through a series of questions to help you assess your business’ preparedness and identify practical actions you can take. Go to Checklist
The most important things you can do to climate-proof your tourism business. Go to Top Tips
Forward-thinking businesses are already preparing for climate change. To find out how, read our case studies