Pulling together Data on Environmental Harms by Tourism, Hospitality and Destination Development

On this post I’m going to pull together some of what I think is the most salient data on harms related to tourism, hospitality (which includes food and drink) and the destination built environment.

It will grow over time, bear with me if its a bit disjointed at first while I’m growing it.

Industry

Aviation contributes 2.5% of Green House Gases

A small minority of frequent flyers dominate air travel in almost all countries with high aviation emissions, analysis suggests. In the US, just 12% of people take two-thirds of flights Possible (wearepossible.org)

– In the UK, 70% of flights are made by a wealthy 15% of the population
– In the US, just 12% of people take two-thirds of flights.
– Canada: 22% of the population takes 73% of flights
– The Netherlands: 8% of people takes 42% of flights.
– China: 5% of households takes 40% of flights
– India: 1% of households takes 45% of flights.
– Indonesia: 3% of households takes 56% of flights

“While the poorest communities are already suffering the impacts of a warming climate, the benefits of high-carbon lifestyles are enjoyed only by the few. A lot of people travel. But only the privileged few fly often.”

Tourism provides 10% of World GDP (UNEP)

Tourism contributes 8% of Climate Gases (Nature)

“Tourism has been described as the world’s largest transfer of resources from rich to poor, dwarfing international aid,” BBC
“the largest voluntary transfer of cash from the rich to the poor, the ‘haves’ to ‘have nots’, in history”. Even if one allows for considerable “leakage” Guardian newspaper

Meat and Dairy – Total emissions from global livestock: represent 14.5% of anthropogenic (human activity) GHG emissions (UN FAO)

Cattle (raised for both beef and milk, as well as for inedible outputs like manure and draft power) are the animal species responsible for the most emissions, representing about 65% of the livestock sector’s emissions. About 44 percent of livestock emissions are in the form of methane (CH4). The remaining part is almost equally shared between Nitrous Oxide (N2O, 29 percent) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2, 27 percent). (UN FAO)

Food and Agriculture

Agriculture and Food systems produce 34% of Green House Gas emissions (Nature Food)

Of which within that 34%:

  • 29% of that is related to packaging, transport, selling and disposing of food
  • 32% from land use change to agriculture by deforestation, and removal of peatlands or wetlands
  • 71% through rearing or growing

Affluence & Wealth

The world’s wealthiest 1% produce double the combined carbon emissions of the poorest 50%, according to the UN.

The wealthiest 10% of people were responsible for almost half of the rise in CO2 emissions between 1990 and 2015 ( Confronting Carbon Inequality: (openrepository.com))

Indigenous People

Indigenous peoples worldwide protect and sustain 80% of the world’s biodiversity, Constituting only 5 percent of the world population, indigenous peoples nevertheless are vital stewards of the environment. Traditional indigenous territories encompass 22 percent of the world’s land surface, but 80 percent of the planet’s biodiversity. UN FAO

Sustainability for Prosperity – an Economic Rationale for Investing in Sustainability in Hotels, Resorts and Destinations

When we in TLC Harmony were looking for economic incentives and rationale for promoting Sustainability in tourism and destination development. We were struck by the lack of readily accessible evidence to persuade investors why they should invest, build, and operate sustainable hotels and resorts.

Given this lack of a clear evidence based argument, we decided to trawl, with the help of academic colleagues, some of the research out there and put it together in a little briefing for ourselves and colleagues.

What was interesting was that other industries like, food and beverage; car producers, and even fashion, were way ahead of the curve and getting a clear economic base for change established. Seriously, a 200% price premium for organic carrots!!!!!. I know its true, because my 83 year old Mum loves organic food, despite the price hike, and thinks it’s a deserved self indulgence.

There is some good and persuasive evidence out there, that says its good for the business bottom line to go sustainable. It attracts customers, creates loyalty, is brilliant marketing and, ahem don’t let anyone else know, it is linked to higher prices that customers, particularly affluent ones, are happy to pay and expect to pay.

I’d going to quote a little bit from CEO of Bentley Cars: Being green is “spurring the world’s millionaires and billionaires to make luxury purchases, based on a system of values such as reduced carbon footprints and sustainability”. “There is a new dimension in the purchase decision – the ethical value,” “this – is manifesting so strongly among the world’s top 1 per cent that it is influencing Bentley’s product planning for the next two decades.

Seriously people if you have a premier and high quality destination that you are building, adapting or managing. You need to ensure its sustainable from design, to build, to operation; otherwise those High Value guests you’re after, are going to stay away, well they might stay, but they will be rather embarrassed to acknowledgement to their friends that they couldn’t afford the sustainable option……

Catch us at the TLC RESET Tourism event on the 25th May, to discuss and hear more

Feel free to download and use the brief. The links are below:

Research suggests Biodiversity is a cornerstone of Human Health and Well-being.

The importance of the fundamental linkages between biodiversity and human health is increasingly recognized in global and regional policy development

In recent years, evidence has emerged that contact with biodiversity is associated with both physical health and mental health.

Nearly 75% of all approved medical drugs come from nature and we rely on the biodiversity of plants and animals to find new medicines. all the food we eat comes from the biological diversity of animals and plants — and the work of bees and butterflies that pollinate those plants. Much of the world’s fresh water is provided from forests. The diversity of organisms in forests also clean and filter water.

Research has found that people feel more able to reflect and gain perspective on life when in a green space with a high species richness of plants and birds.

Read more in the article link below:

Biodiversity: how our health and happiness depend on a thriving planet (theconversation.com)

TLC Harmony with TTN Middle East present “Reset Tourism. Sustainably”

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TLC calls for Tourism Reset. Sustainably as we are on a tipping point. 

As the tourism world slowly revives, ‘Reset Tourism Sustainably’ has been created to support a global call to review and reset how we travel. 

Putting nature and the protection of culture and heritage first is a priority for forward-thinking leaders in hospitality and tourism development.  

  • Where we stay; 
  • What we invest in;
  • What experiences we enjoy and deliver. 

Hospitality and tourism choices can affect, and at times destroy, the natural and beautiful destinations, and authentic cultural heritage that we travel to see. But, we have a responsibility to protect our natural world and heritage resources for future generations. 

“Tourism generates 10 percent of global GDP and creates one in ten jobs internationally,” said Nicki Page, Founder, TLC Global. “The impact of Covid-19 was a shocking tsunami to the industry, as nearly 200 million of us lost our livelihoods. But as we slowly open up, start to travel, and enjoy each other’s wonderful and beautiful resources, we must not simply settle back into old and familiar ways. “

“We need to embrace a new spirit and thinking as we move forward. If, as business we don’t, and if as tourism Ministers and Government we don’t; then future guests like Generation Z, and other conscious, responsible travellers, will stay away and choose other sustainably delivered services in sustainably managed countries.”

The RESET event, will be an opportunity to discuss and review new paradigms and evidenced-based outcomes, that demonstrate how sustainability is not just a responsible way to change and grow our industry, but an economically sensible one as well. The event will involve talks with some of the leading international leaders in hospitality and tourism to ask how they are leading the new zeitgeist of travel, tourism, and destination development.

The event will demonstrate how operators can take responsibility, and how guests can contribute positively, to reducing the global crisis whilst still travelling, exploring, learning, and enjoying our wonderful world.

“Our analysis of the hospitality industry across, food and beverage, hotels and air travel. Provided good evidence to demonstrate that a hotel or destination both improved its brand reputation, and revenue, as customers are willing to pay a sustainability premium when associated with a credible sustainability position. Also that High Value, Luxury and Premium brands are increasingly required to have sustainability featured as a standard service offer,” said Leo Downer, Founder, TLC Harmony Sustainable Tourism.

Participants from UNWTO; Ministers of Tourism; specialists in Sustainability, Hotels operation and Development; will be joining us as we set out a roadmap towards tourism that is Good for you, the Planet and Prosperity.

To register for RESET in Tourism go to: www.TLCHarmony.com

Partners or media wanting to join the journey please contact:

Email: ​Nicki.pageoneworld@gmail.com

Maldives’ economic dependence on tourism makes it absolutely essential we continue to focus on sustainable tourism development whilst we embark on nationwide tourism expansion initiatives and celebration of our tourism industry’s Golden Jubilee in 2022.

We endorse the TLCs sustainable tourism initiative Reset Tourism. Sustainably
 (Minister of Tourism, Maldives April 2021)

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Supporting Information

1. Tourism Impacts on GDP, Employment and Climate

  • Tourism accounts for one in ten jobs globally
  • Tourism accounts for 10.1% 0f global GDP (source World Travel and Tourism Council – WTTC).
  • Tourism accounts for around 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, (Nature – Climate Change Journal)
  • The tourism industry stands to significantly lose over the long term due to changing climate, loss of habitat and biodiversity. 

2. Customers Say they are Worried about Climate Change and Nature

There is a significant body of evidence that identifies Climate Change and the Environment as key concerns for customers of hotels and hospitality.

  • The European Travel Commission reports that Generation Z views Climate change as one of the most pressing concerns
  • The World Economic Forum, 2020, reports that 86% of 21,00 global respondents want a more equitable and sustainable world.  
  • Ipsos-Mori, 2020, survey of 20,500 global respondents said that Climate change is the most pressing environmental issue, followed by air pollution, waste deforestation.
  • The travel business, such as Booking.com, ABTA, AIG; are saying their customers want holidays and destinations to do no harm to the environment, and to benefit the local communities they are visiting.

3. People are more willing to Pay for Sustainability

“Out of 30,000 respondents across 60 countries 66% of respondents said they are willing to pay more for sustainable goods “ (Nielson Global Survey of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability)   

Age matters – Our Future Customer 

  • Millennials are the most willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings—almost three-out-of-four respondents (73%) in 2015, up from approximately half in 2014. With Gen Z coming close thereafter.

Affluence

  • Those earning at or below $20,000 are 5% less willing than those with incomes greater than $50,000 to pay more for products and services that come from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.

Brand trust

  • Trust of the brand to deliver sustainability solutions influenced purchasing for nearly two-of-three (62%) consumers globally; with commitment of the brand to the environment approaches swayed the product purchase for 45% of consumers.

Protecting the Ocean Delivers a Comprehensive Solution for Climate, Fishing and Biodiversity

“An international team of 26 authors identified specific areas that, if protected, would safeguard over 80% of the habitats for endangered marine species, and increase fishing catches by more than eight million metric tons. The study is also the first to quantify the potential release of carbon dioxide into the ocean from trawling, a widespread fishing practice—and finds that trawling is pumping hundreds of millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the ocean every year, a volume of emissions similar to those of aviation. “

Protecting the global ocean for biodiversity, food and climate — Campaign for Nature

Can coral reef restoration save one of the most vulnerable ecosystems to climate change?

The report suggests coral reef restoration strategies follow four critical principles: 1) planning and assessing around specific goals and objectives, 2) identifying adaptive strategies to mitigate risks, 3) engaging local stakeholders and communities in all stages of the restoration efforts, and 4) developing long-term monitoring plans to allow for adaptive management and to improve the understanding of restoration effectiveness for specific goals.

Can coral reef restoration save one of the most vulnerable ecosystems to climate change? (unep.org)

Eco Resort Network – TLC Harmony Sustainable Tourism

The Harmony Golden Ratio is Launched – Eco Resort Network

Oh yes, and I wanted to say what a great time we had with the visitors and guests at the Eco Hotel Investment Summit this January. I know its long gone already, but the discussion really helped us hone our position, and realise that we have got to simplify the implementation so that any business can just pick it up and do it.

UK Treasury – The Economics of Biodiversity

TLC believes measuring and assessing Natural Capital is an essential step in the valuation of local tourism assets, and a means to set the True Price of the biodiversity heritage of new and existing destinations that should be reflected in every visitors ticket.

From the doc attached – “Introducing natural capital into national accounting systems would be a critical step towards making inclusive wealth our measure of progress. Frameworks for natural capital accounting and assessment exist and are at different stages of development, and while significant problems of design and measurement remain, this should not deter governments and businesses from supporting and embracing them. Increased investment in physical accounts and valuation would improve the quality of natural capital accounts.

Final Report – The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)