Sustainable Tourism Global Center and WTTC Unveil Pioneering Global Research on Travel & Tourism

ON 10/27/2023 AT 06 : 55 AM

In a defining moment for the global Travel & Tourism sector, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC) initiated by the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia recently released the latest industry-shaping Environmental Impact Research data.

Last year, during the WTTC Global Summit in Riyadh, the two organizations launched the collaboration and unveiled the inaugural results including the sector’s accurate greenhouse gas emissions for the first time ever. 

This represents the most comprehensive environmental data in Travel & Tourism’s history.

This launch not only tells the sector’s direct impact, but also its supply chain impacts, both within national borders and those that are embedded in Travel & Tourism’s international supply chains.

The groundbreaking ER data covers 185 countries across all regions and will be updated each year with the latest figures. 

Building upon WTTC’s world-renowned Economic Impact Research, this initiative introduces individualized factsheets for each country and major global regions, and a dedicated microsite allowing users to explore the data in detail.

The data converges economic metrics with crucial issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and composition, freshwater use, air pollution and resource use as well as age, gender, and wage profiles of different employments, as well as harmonized indicators across a wide range of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The comprehensive data reveals the nexus between each dollar generated by Travel & Tourism in the economy and its consequential environmental and social impact.

Key highlights from the research include:

Environmental Impact (highlights): 

•    The Travel & Tourism sector demonstrates an impressive trend of decoupling its environmental footprint from its GDP growth.
•    Key achievements include reductions in the intensity of water usage, greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and material extraction.
•    Travel & Tourism’s share of global energy consumption amounted to 10.6% in 2019
•    The sector represented 0.9% of total global water consumption in 2019
•    Travel & Tourism’s material footprint accounts for 5-8% of global material extraction 
•    The report’s monitoring extends to pollutants such as particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and nitrogen oxides, among others.

Importantly, the data tracks the sector's performance towards 15 UN Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting its commitment to a more equitable and sustainable world.

The prime objective of this groundbreaking work is to elevate the accuracy and pertinence of sector-specific data, setting the trajectory for future initiatives and realigning with global sustainability milestones.