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Published on Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tourism appetite too great for world resources

Latest scientific paper outlines unpalatable facts and forecasts

A paper just completed by tourism and climate change scientists, Stefan Gossling and Paul Peeters presents more facts about tourism's appetite for growth and resources.

For the first time using the concept of Resource Use Intensities (RUIs) - the paper pioneers the assessment of tourism's total global resource use, including fossil fuel consumption, associated CO2 emissions, fresh water, land and food use.

The conclusions:

"Based on estimates of RUIs, a first assessment of tourism's global resource use and emissions is provided for the period 19002050, 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 km3 of fresh water, 62,000 km2 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 20102050. 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."

In other words, in a world straitened by its resources, unless something changes, mass tourism will double its fresh water use and treble its land use and cause massive, global-warming emissions.

Said Professor Gossling: "We have to realise that, unless we travel fundamentally different in the future, environmentally sustainable tourism will remain an illusion".

Valere Tjolle

Find out more about a practical way of creating a world beyond tourism in a wonderful Italian destination HERE


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