Cookies on Leisure Tourism

Like most websites we use cookies. This is to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.


Continuing to use  means you agree to our use of cookies. If you would like to, you can learn more about the cookies we use.

CABI’s case study database - Tourism Cases, is a window into the world of tourism development. To search cases and find out more on how to read online, download PDFs and access teaching notes visit Tourism Cases at:

Watch the promotional video here:

News Article

IPCC Climate change report: tourism needs to change

Travel and Tourism industry has to take immediate Climate Action 

The landmark climate change report released today (9th August) by the UN and the IPCC, outlines how humans have accelerated earth’s warming and the extent to which our influence is causing widespread climate change.

The tourism sectors, particularly those of lesser economically developed countries, are exceedingly vulnerable to climate change and the unpredictability that changing weather patterns and climates bring .

Yet, at the same time the international travel and tourism industry contributes to the carbon emissions which are the responsible drivers of climate change. The UNWTO is calling on all tourism stakeholders to prepare for climate change and to accelerate climate action within the sector.

Climate action is understood as the efforts to measure and reduce Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and strengthen adaptive capacity to climate induced impacts – according to the UNWTO.

The harsh figures estimated from research conducted by UNWTO/ITF , found that CO2 emissions from tourism were forecast to increase at least by 25% by 2030. With more and more people are expected to travel, even after the impact of the pandemic, predictions are that international visitor numbers will increase every year. In 2018, there were roughly 1.4 billion international visitors.

Emissions increases

Experts also warned that transport-related emissions from tourism are due to rise in the future, from 2016 levels - 5% of all man-made emissions to 5.3 % by 2030. This estimate doesn’t consider other tourism related emissions, such as running hospitality venues and accommodation, the creation and maintenance of airports and other travel hubs, and the emissions encountered by producing extra food for tourist consumption.

The paper outlines warming seas and rising sea-levels as well as increases in extreme weather events due to climate change caused by carbon emissions. There will not be a tourism destination unscathed by climate change: from coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef to more frequent hurricanes in the Caribbean to ice melting earlier impacting arctic tourism.

Work to be done

According to Earth-Changers, out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals created by the UN, the global travel tourism sector has poor engagement on key environmental goals including:

  •          SDG7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  •          SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  •          SDG14: Life Below Water
  •          SDG17: Partnerships
  •          SDG12: Responsible Production and Consumption
  •          SDG6: Clean Water and Sanitation
  •          SDG15: Life on Land


If the global travel and tourism sector committed to meeting the above SDG’s, then the sectors impact on climate change could be mitigated.

But, the global travel and tourism sector will have to work hard to change consumption patterns and become a more sustainable industry – or it risks losing many destinations’ key attractions.

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • Jesslyn Thay
  • Date
  • 09 August 2021
  • Source
  • Subject(s)
  • Hospitality Sector