Sustainable Tourism, a response to climate change adaptation
By Ángeles Muik
Tourism is one of the world’s most important economic activities. It represents 10% of the world GDP producing around 115 million jobs.
Nonetheless, the profits of the tourist industry cause impact on global warming, being responsible for about five percent of the (CO2) carbon dioxide emissions in the world.
The opening of tourist centers, in areas with favorable climatic and regional conditions is spaces which could be affected, if the necessary steps for their protection are not adopted.
These places are located among the regions with highest vulnerability to climate change because of the rise in sea level, the reduction of water resources and the advance of tropical diseases.
If the ocean expansion is produced in the long term, the ecosystems of the cities and towns with beaches opened for tourism could be affected.
The sea will affect some hotel infrastructures, by penetrating some meters inland regarding where they are today.
Steps can be taken in some locations, unlike others, since these facilities are very close to the sea edge.
Sustainable Tourism vs. Climate Change
Implementing projects of sustainable tourism with the emphasis on adaptation are part of the initiative in line with the studies carried out aimed at the temperature variations.
In this regard, adaptation strategies should have a preventive character. That’s why it’s advisable to build the hotel infrastructure in areas with less exposure.
The effects of climate change will be diverse and the consequences will depend on the context, where new steps for mitigation should be adopted and new recreational activities will be developed.
Promotion and investment in energy saving tourist programs and in the use of renewable energy resources are alternatives geared to reduce the carbon traces.
Sources: United Nations Environmental Protection (UNEP)
Translated by ESTI