Sustainable tourism refers to tourism that attempts to have a minimal or zero negative impact on the local culture and the surrounding environment while generating future employment to the locals. Sustainable tourism is centred on the 12 Aims of Sustainable Tourism that were designed in 2005 by UNWTO/UNEP. The 12 aims are summarized by the triple bottom line concept which entails; natural environment, economic vitality and creating healthy communities. Most developments in sustainable tourism are centred on these principles. This paper discusses recent news and developments in sustainable tourism.
The UNWTO recently developed an e-toolkit that will provide hoteliers with information regarding their current energy consumption and provide recommendation on alternative energy-efficient technologies, renewable energy and appropriate sustainable actions. The e-toolkit, which is called Hotel Energy Solution (HES), is not only expected to help hotels became greener but will also help them cut operational costs by using efficient energy sources. Although, the project was launched in European Union countries, it is expected to be launched in non-EU countries in the coming years. This innovation will promote environmental conservation and create healthy communities.
In other news, an advocacy group based in Brussels recently released a report that revealed that airlines are making a windfall from carbon taxes.
Carbon tax was meant to make airline companies to pay for carbon emissions by their planes. The carbon tax was adopted in the EU but received ferocious opposition from U.S.A, China, Russia and other non EU countries. In fact, the U.S congress passed a law that sought to shield American Airlines from paying carbon tax. They claimed that the tax would increase operational costs and cripple the industry. However, the opposite has turned out to be true. EU airlines have become more efficient over the years which resulted in reduced operational cost. In addition airline companies have earned windfalls from carbon tax. For example, it is estimated that Lufthansa earned a windfall of 53.6 million Euros from carbon tax last year. Therefore, if non-EU countries adopt carbon tax, their airline industry will not only be reduce carbon emission and conserve the environment but will also result in improved operational efficiency hence higher profitability.
Edgell, D. L. (2006). Managing Sustainable Tourism: A Legacy for the Future. New York: Routledge.
Goldenberg, S. (2013, January 20). Airlines made £1.2bn from carbon tax they fought against. Retrieved February 6, 2013, from http://www.greenwisebusiness.co.uk: http://www.greenwisebusiness.co.uk/news/airlines-made-12bn-from-carbon-tax-they-fought-against-3756.aspx
GreenWise. (2012, September 15). UN scheme targets energy consumption to help hotels go green. Retrieved February 6, 2013, from http://www.greenwisebusiness.co.uk: http://www.greenwisebusiness.co.uk/news/un-scheme-targets-energy-consumption-to-help-hotels-go-green-2605.aspx