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Sustainable tourism: we are the stakeholders

Nov 28, 2014



The slides that accompanied my lecture introducing the key concepts behind sustainable tourism, and some of the problems we face.

  • 1. Sustainable Tourism: We are the stakeholders. Richa rd Farr
  • 2. Contents Motivation The Triple Bottom Line The Greenhouse Effect Environmental impact how many Earths? Four journeys... four problems How bad is my carbon footprint? How do we make tourism more sustainable? Closing remarks
  • 3. Motivation: we are not tree-huggers There are sound business reasons to be green. Being conscious of the impacts upon communities and natural systems, we can learn to do things better and remain in business.
  • 4. There are sound business reasons for sustainable tourism what were doing, if they are to continue to allow us access. Many local people work in the tourism business at the destination, or will meet with your tourists. You need them to be happy about things. Visitors can spoil the things that they come to experience killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Ethical spending is on the rise. In the UK it has grown more than 300% in the last decade. If you want to go after the green pound, you need to be aware of the issues affecting the industry.
  • 5. The Triple Bottom Line People, Planet, Profit
  • 6. Carbon Footprint One of the common ways to measure our environmental impact is carbon dioxide emissions: the carbon footprint of an activity or product. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases are so-called because they make it warmer on the inside. The Greenhouse Effect is natural, and life on Earth would probably be impossible without it. The problem is that there is now more greenhouse gases than before, and much of the extra gas is a direct consequence of modern industries. Temperatures are rising so quickly that
  • 7. What do Greenhouse Gases do?
  • 8. Climate Change, or Global Warming? Scientists expect an average temperature increase... but this doesnt mean every place gets warmer. Averages seldom convey a complete picture. Expect warmer summers, and colder winters. Expect more extreme weather events.
  • 9. Our environmental impact Things will continue to get worse, while we exceed Earths biological capacity. How is it possible to use more than one Earth?
  • 10. Mt. Everest Nepal
  • 11. Trekking in the Himalayas The Everest region sees over 30,000 visitors a year. Not a huge number, but enough to have a major impact on local villages. Its difficult to clean up after the trekkers once they are gone. A lack of local infrastructure means waste such as food packaging is simply dumped outside villages. Plastics, bottles and cans will remain for centuries, and sewerage is also a problem. Trekking companies are supposed to carry out their waste with them, but many do not. The cost to transport empty beer cans out by yak is prohibitive... and even if they did, there is no recycling industry in Nepal.
  • 12. Angkor Wat Cambodia
  • 13. Angkor Wat Wat in the first quarter of 2012 an increase of 45% compared to the previous year. The main sites buzz with tour groups from sunrise to sunset. Once, the main hazard at Ta Prohm was falling over the roots of the trees which have partially engulfed the temple. These days a visitor is more likely to be swallowed up by the crowds striking Lara Croft poses in homage to Angelina Jolie's exploits in Tomb Raider. Would you get the tourism experience you were
  • 14. Uluru Northern Territory, Australia
  • 15. Uluru The local Aboriginal people, the A angu, dont climb Uluru because of its great spiritual significance. They request that visitors do not climb the rock either. From the visitors guide: The climb is not prohibited, but we prefer that, as a guest on A angu land, you will choose to respect our law and culture by not climbing. There are also good safety reasons for not climbing Ayers Rock / Uluru: at least 35 people have died, making the climb most from heart failure. Some 100,000+ tourists climb the rock
  • 16. Churchill Manitoba, Canada
  • 17. Churchill, Manitoba Polar bears mainly hunt for food on sea ice: they fast for half the year. Where the fresh water from the Churchill River flows out into the Hudson Bay, the sea freezes first, so for a few weeks from late October every year, Churchill becomes the polar bear capital of the world. Thousands of tourists travel to see them. My trip: Flight from London to Montreal, and then on to Winnipeg. North by train for two days to reach Churchill, and then out onto the ice in a tundra buggy. Stayed three nights.
  • 18. Carbon footprints for my journey to Churchill Short-haul flights: about 0.2897 kg CO2 per mile, per passenger. Long-haul flights: about 0.1770 kg CO2 per mile, per passenger. Fly from London to Edinburgh for the weekend and you produce 193kg of CO2, eight times the 23.8kg you produce by taking the train. London to Montreal: 3248 miles each way Montreal to Winnipeg: 1133 miles each way
  • 19. How do we make tourism more sustainable? Limit tourist numbers to a level that wont disrupt the natural systems or communities in an area. Improve transport links: modern high-speed trains are much more green than driving, or flying. Consult communities and respect their wishes, in regard to tourism and associated industries. Perhaps have an off season when key places are closed to visitors, allowing animals to mate, hatch, etc. undisturbed by the public. Base decisions on good science. Understand modes of harm, levels of
  • 20. Closing remarks We need to do much more to protect sites that are of particular interest. We need to understand that there are powerful arguments against tourism (and many other activities). Our companies need to be as green as possible, to avoid getting a negative image. Perceptions are changing, and the industry will need to change as well. Visitors are killing world tourist spots
  • 21. Further articles from Richard Farr at: