Published on : Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Through this initiative, there will be efforts for creating a world that is cleaner, greener and more equal and inclusive. Research has shown that modern tourists want to give back to the countries and communities they visit and reduce their impact on environment. The campaign “Travel.Enjoy.Respect” that is linked to the International Year aims at emphasizing the role of a traveler in increasing the potential of tourism while curbing damage on the environment. Global tourism is a big business and so the impact that a traveler can have on environment is significant.
Thousands of jobs have been created in tourism. The potential for tourism going green is also massive. Tourism generates 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. According to UN Environment, that proportion is higher if factors like energy use at hotels and transporting food and toiletries are taken into account. Other factors include water use. There is also waste generation at resorts or from cruise ships, overfishing on coral reefs to feed visitors and loss of plant and animal species linked with construction and operation of resorts. By 2020, the number of global tourists will reach 1.6 billion.
To reach the targets set by the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals, we need a huge change in tourism. The onus lies with us, travelers, to make our world cleaner and greener for a sustainable tourism development.