Portugal, Italy boost tourism while reducing carbon emissions

 Monday, March 27, 2023 


Portugal and Italy have found a place among the elite group of countries that have grown their travel and tourism industry while lowering the intensity of carbon emissions.

The two nations follow in the footsteps of Germany, which was awarded earlier this month by the WTTC for accomplishing a similar feat of boosting its tourism economy while lowering carbon emissions.

The achievement was revealed as part of an ongoing series of data being released by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Saudi-based Sustainable Tourism Global Center. The study endeavour is one of the largest of its type, with the goal of correctly measuring and analysing the environmental effect of the travel and tourism industry.

In Italy, the tourism industry accounted for 8.4 percent of total national greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. In 2020, that percentage is reduced even more to 4.2 percent. While the drop is mostly due to decreased industry activity during the pandemic, the country has managed to isolate its travel and tourism development from greenhouse gas emissions, according to the new statistics.

Between 2010 and 2019, the sector’s total contribution to the Italian economy climbed by an average of 1.1 percent each year, while greenhouse gas emissions increased by just 0.2 percent per year. According to the recently released figures, Italy’s travel and tourism-related emissions are constantly declining.

In Italy, travel and tourism created 0.37 kg of greenhouse emissions for every 1 euro generated. This ratio has declined by roughly 1% per year by 2019, when travel and tourism had peaked, reaching 0.34 kg of greenhouse gas emissions per euro created. In the following years, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with industrial activity decreased even further, reaching 0.27 kg per 1 euro generated in 2021.

According to WTTC data, a similar dynamic is unfolding in Portugal, where the country’s tourism business has expanded but greenhouse gas emissions have decreased.

Portugal’s tourism industry accounted for 17.8 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. This number was higher than the European average. Nonetheless, WTTC research suggests that the Portuguese economy is particularly reliant on travel and tourism. In 2019, for example, the industry generated over 38 billion euros, accounting for almost one-fifth of Portugal’s total GDP.

But the country’s contribution of greenhouse gas emissions from travel and tourism activity fell eight percentage points to 9.8 percent in 2020 and 10.2 percent in 2021. Again, this reduction is ascribed to the effects of the global pandemic, which had halted travel.

However, like Italy, Portugal has achieved the accomplishment of divorcing the expansion of its tourism economy from its greenhouse gas emissions. Over this time, the travel sector’s economic output climbed by about 5% each year on average, while greenhouse gas emissions increased by just 4.1 percent per year.

« Back to Page

Related Posts


Subscribe to our Newsletter

I want to receive travel news and trade event update from Travel And Tour World. I have read Travel And Tour World's Privacy Notice.