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The international environmental policy and the tourism industry


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Title: The international environmental policy and the tourism industry

The international environmental policy and the
tourism industry
  • Mia Tarhanen, M.Sc.,
  • HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied sciences,

  • I) Justification environmental impact
  • II) History of Sustainable Tourism from
    international environmental policymakings point
    of view
  • III)UNWTO the development of climate change
    policy in tourism industry
  • IV)EU the environmental actions towards more
    sustainable tourism
  • V)Finland in environmental action
  • VI)Macro level the environmental policy of a
    tourism sector company Group working from
    policy to practice practical solutions

I) Justification environmental impact
Tourism - a special relationship with sustainable
  • How can places of great natural beauty, or
    wildlife, be preserved once tourists start
    visiting in their thousands, bringing with them
    the need for services and development?
  • Is it possible to have a guilt-free holiday?
  • Can you visit a place without damaging it in some
  • What are the environmental impacts of tourism?

Tourism spreads quickly around the world
  • Some tour operators realize that the industry
    relies on natural and cultural diversity as well
    as security of the destination to attract
  • Sustainable tourism, therefore, is crucial not
    only for the people and environment in
    destination countries, but for the survival of
    the industry itself.
  • The only sustainable solution however - people
    staying at home - is not a feasible alternative
    since in many developed countries holidaying is
    seen as a basic right rather than a privilege.

At least 80 of this waste is recyclable
We can choose to have this
Venice Under Water Deepest Flood in 22 Years
Flood waters Venice reached a depth of 1.56
The International Ice and Snow Festival, Harbin,
  • A winter fantasyland featuring ice and snow
    everything an ice church, an ice bar, a giant
    snow Buddha, an ice lighthouse, and a mini Great
    Wall of Ice.
  • But!!! This is the worst year ever,
  • The Festival is usually much bigger. It was too
    warm, so there wasnt enough time to prepare the
  • Chinas heating up!
  • The diminished Ice and Snow Festival is just one
    small effect of unsettling warming weather trends
    already being seen.
  • This is the warmest winter northeastern China in
    more than 50 years.

What Spain will look like in the future, in a
world transformed by climate change.
  • The Guardian recently introduced us to a series
    of images, produced by artists Pedro Armestre and
    Mario Gómez, for a new project by Greenpeace.

Increased frequency of coral bleaching events is
expected as a result of global climate change
  • A bleaching event, likely caused by high sea
    water temperatures, affected these staghorn
    corals in Tumon Bay Marine Preserve, Guam. 

The Global Warming Swimming Pool Imagine
Swimming Above a City
II) History of Sustainable Tourism from
international environmental policymakings point
of view
History of Sustainable Tourism
  • Sustainable tourism is a paradigm that evolved as
    a reaction to criticism of tourism's unprincipled
    growth in Europe in the 1970s.
  • Among the first who wrote about the negative
    environmental impacts of tourism was a Swiss
    researcher Jost Krippendorf.
  • The researchers Mathieson and Wall (1982) defined
    sustainable tourism in terms of economical,
    physical and social impacts.
  • the carrying capacity which will determine the
    level of impact, e.g. the number of visitors who
    can visit a particular area without affecting the
    area physically

History of Sustainable Tourism
  • During the late 80s the sustainable development
    approach was adapted as part of tourism
  • The concept of sustainable development, a generic
    term, was defined by Brundlandt Commission
  • Development that meets the needs of the
    present without compromising the ability of
    future generations to meet their own needs.

From Rio to Johannesburg New Paths for
International Tourism
  • Rio Conference was the starting point
  • Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and
    Development, and the Statement of principles for
    the Sustainable Management of Forests were
    adopted by more than 178 Governments at the
    United Nations Conference on Environment and
    Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio,
    Brazil, 1992.
  • Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be
    taken globally, nationally and locally in every
    area in which human impacts on the environment.

From Rio to Johannesburg New Paths for
International Tourism
  • In1992 Rio Earth Summit, was made a little
    reference to the environmental and social impacts
    of tourism.
  • Since Rio, international concern about the
    sustainability of tourism has grown steadily.
  • Countries have endorsed declarations on a wide
    range of related topics
  • including tourism and sustainable development
  • the social impact of tourism
  • tourism and biodiversity
  • tourism and ethics

From Rio to Johannesburg New Paths for
International Tourism
  • In 1996,,the World Tourism Organization, the
    World Travel Tourism Council, and the Earth
    Council released their own action-plan, Agenda 21
  • The focus was in an effort to integrate tourism
    into broader sustainability discussions

From Rio to Johannesburg New Paths for
International Tourism
  • The Year of EcoTourism
  • In 2002 UNWTO had dedicated the year for Eco
  • Some 500 delegates from 100 countries selected
    four themes for the International Year of
    Ecotourism 2002.
  • The four themes were
  • ecotourism policy and planning
  • the regulation of ecotourism
  • the marketing and promotion of ecotourism
  • monitoring the costs and benefits of ecotourism.
  • Environmental sustainability and empowerment of
    local communities were listed as "cross-cutting

From Rio to Johannesburg New Paths for
International Tourism
  • Tourism was also be an important topic at the
    upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development
    in Johannesburg

From Rio to Johannesburg New Paths for
International Tourism
  • The Tourism Industry
  • Many tourism businesses are beginning to take
    positive steps to become more environmentally and
    socially responsible
  • Priorities for Action
  • Restructure management and operations along
    environmental lines, including reducing
    consumption of water, energy, and other resources
    and improving management, handling, and disposal
    of waste.
  • Accelerate the transfer of environmentally sound
    technologies, practices, and management tools to
    the developing world, including desalination
    plants and other water-saving systems, renewable
    energy technologies, and ecologically sound
    chemical management practices.
  • In Practice
  • Under the International Association of Antarctic
    Tour Operators' voluntary code of conduct, the 40
    member tour operators are required to land no
    more than 100 people per site at a time and to
    make sure that visitors do not disturb wildlife.
  • Europe's Blue Flag Campaign eco-labelling of high
    environmental standards and safe, sanitary

From Rio to Johannesburg New Paths for
International Tourism
  • Government
  • Governments will need to play a proactive role in
    supporting the growth of sustainable tourism.
  • Priorities for Action
  • Encourage tourism planning authorities at the
    national, regional, and local levels to
    incorporate key social and environmental goals.
  • In 1997, the Council of Europe recommended that
    member governments limit tourism development to a
    level compatible with ecological capacity
  • Develop regulations and policies that support
    smaller-scale tourism initiatives that are
    actively planned and managed by local
  • In Practice
  • The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan practices an
    official policy of "high-value, low-volume"
    tourism. It accepted only 7,500 visitors in the
    year 2000, at a cost of 250 each per day.

From Rio to Johannesburg New Paths for
International Tourism
  • Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and
    International Institutions
  • Non-governmental players have played an important
    role in generating much of the pressure for more
    sustainable tourism.
  • International institutions such as the World Bank
    and UNEP have also stepped up their support for
    sustainable tourism, including engaging in
    efforts to create benchmarks for sustainable
    tourism that will make it easier for governments
    and businesses to measure progress.
  • Priorities for Action
  • Discourage unsustainable and inappropriate
    tourism developments.
  • Help raise awareness of tourism's negative
    impacts through information campaigns and
  • Encourage tourists to engage in environmentally
    and culturally sensitive behavior

III)UNWTO the development of climate change
policy in tourism industry
Djerba Declaration 2003 on Tourism and Climate
  • The participants gathered at the First
    International Conference on Climate Change and
    Tourism, held in Djerba, Tunisia, April 2003,
    convened by the World Tourism Organization, upon
    an invitation of the Government of Tunisia

Djerba Declaration 2003 on Tourism and Climate
  • Agree the following 1. To urge all governments
    concerned with the contribution of tourism to
    sustainable development, to subscribe to all
    relevant intergovernmental and multilateral
    agreements, especially the Kyoto Protocol, and
    other conventions and similar declarations
    concerning climate change and related resolutions
    that prevent the impacts of this phenomenon from
    spreading further or accelerating 2. To
    encourage international organizations to further
    the study and research of the reciprocal
    implications between tourism and climate change,
    including in the case of cultural and
    archaeological sites, in cooperation with public
    authorities, academic institutions, NGOs, and
    local people in particular, to encourage the
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to pay
    special attention to tourism in cooperation with
    WTO and to include tourism specifically in its
    Fourth Assessment Report 3. To call upon UN,
    international, financial and bilateral agencies
    to support the governments of developing, in
    their efforts to address and to adapt to the
    adverse effects of climate change and to
    formulate appropriate action plans 4. To
    request international organizations, governments,
    NGOs and academic institutions to support local
    governments and destination management
    organizations in implementing adaptation and
    mitigation measures that respond to the specific
    climate change impacts at local destinations 5.
    To encourage the tourism industry, including
    transport companies, hoteliers, tour operators,
    travel agents and tourist guides, to adjust their
    activities, using more energy-efficient and
    cleaner technologies and logistics, in order to
    minimize as much as possible their contribution
    to climate change

Djerba Declaration 2003 on Tourism and Climate
  • 6. To call upon governments, bilateral and
    multilateral institutions to conceive and
    implement sustainable management policies for
    water resources, and for the conservation of
    wetlands and other freshwater ecosystems 7. To
    call upon governments to encourage the use of
    renewable energy sources in tourism and transport
    companies and activities, by facilitating
    technical assistance and using fiscal and other
    incentives 8. To encourage consumer
    associations, tourism companies and the media to
    raise consumers' awareness at destinations and in
    generating markets, in order to change
    consumption behaviour and make more climate
    friendly tourism choices 9. To invite public,
    private and non-governmental stakeholders and
    other institutions to inform WTO about the
    results of any research study relevant to climate
    change and tourism, in order for WTO to act as a
    clearing house and to create a database on the
    subject and disseminate know-how internationally
    and 10. To consider this Declaration as a
    framework for international, regional and
    governmental agencies for the monitoring of their
    activities and of the above mentioned action
    plans in this field.

From Davos to Bali A Tourism Contribution to the
Challenge of Climate Change
  • Davos Declaration (Davos, Switzerland, 3 October
  • Conclusions of the Ministers Summit on Tourism
    and Climate Change (London, United Kingdom, 13
    November 2007)
  • Resolution on Tourism and Climate Change (UNWTO
    General Assembly, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia,
    23-29 November 2007)
  • Statement by Francesco Frangialli,
    Secretary-General of UNWTO, on the occasion of
    the UN Conference on Climate Change (Bali,
    Indonesia, 12 December 2007)

Conference on Climate Change and Tourism, Davos,
Switzerland, 2007
  • The Conference reunited stakeholders from across
    the sector to review developments and re-chart
    the future
  • The Davos Declaration acknowledged the reality of
    climate change and its strong interrelationship
    with tourism.
  • It acknowledged the need for a long term strategy
    for the sector to reduce its greenhouse gas
    emissions in line with other sectors.

Conference on Climate Change and Tourism, Davos,
Switzerland, 2007
  • The Conference agreed that
  • climate is a key resource for tourism and the
    sector is highly sensitive to the impacts of
    climate change and global warming, many elements
    of which are already being felt. It is estimated
    to contribute some 5 of global CO2 emissions.
  • tourism - business and leisure - will continue to
    be a vital component of the global economy, an
    important contributor to the Millennium
    Development Goals and an integral, positive
    element in our society.
  • the tourism sector must rapidly respond to
    climate change, within the evolving UN framework
    and progressively reduce its Greenhouse Gas (GHG)
    contribution if it is to grow in a sustainable
    manner this will require action to
  • o mitigate its GHG emissions, derived especially
    from transport and accommodation activities
  • o adapt tourism businesses and destinations to
    changing climate conditions
  • o apply existing and new technology to improve
    energy efficiency
  • o secure financial resources to help poor regions
    and countries.

Conference on Climate Change and Tourism, Davos,
Switzerland, 2007
  • The Conference calls for the following actions.
  • 1) Governments and International Organizations
  • Incorporate tourism in the implementation of
    existing commitments under the United Nations
    Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
    and its Kyoto Protocol,
  • Implement concrete, simultaneous actions for
    mitigation, adaptation, technology and financing,
  • Introduce education and awareness programs for
    all tourism stakeholders public and private
    sector as well as consumers.
  • Develop regional and local climate information
    services tailored to the tourism sector

Conference on Climate Change and Tourism, Davos,
Switzerland, 2007
  • 2) Tourism Industry and Destinations
  • Take leadership in implementing concrete measures
    in order to mitigate climate change and to reduce
    risk to travellers, operators and infrastructure
    due to dynamic climate variability and shift.
  • Promote investments in energy-efficiency tourism
    programmes and use of renewable energy resources,
    with the aim of reducing the carbon footprint of
    the entire tourism sector.
  • Raise awareness among customers and staff on
    climate change impacts and engage them in
    response processes.

Conference on Climate Change and Tourism, Davos,
Switzerland, 2007
  • 3) Consumers
  • Tourists should be encouraged to consider the
    climate, economic, societal and environmental
    impacts of their options before making a decision
    and, where possible to reduce their carbon
    footprint, or offset emissions that cannot be
    reduced directly.
  • Tourists should also be encouraged to opt for
    environmentally-friendly activities that reduce
    their carbon footprint as well as contribute to
    the preservation of the natural environment and
    cultural heritage.

Conference on Climate Change and Tourism, Davos,
Switzerland, 2007
  • 4) Research and Communications Networks
  • Encourage targeted, multi-disciplinary research
    on impacts of climate change in order to address
    regional gaps in current knowledge, develop tools
    for risk assessment and costbenefit analyses with
    which to gauge the feasibility of various
  • Include environmental and climate specific
    subjects in the study curricula of tourism
    training programmes and extend these to broader
    educational systems.
  • Raise awareness on tourisms economic role as a
    tool for development, and present information on
    causes and effects of climate change based on
    sound science, in a fair, balanced and
    user-friendly manner.

London and Cartagena, November 2007
  • Subsequent to the Davos conference, the issues
    related to climate change and tourism, were
    further discussed at a
  • Ministerial Meeting held in London on November
    2007 and
  • UNWTO General Assembly held in Cartagena de
    Indias, Colombia, November 2007.
  • The following points were underscored
  • The urgent need for the tourism sector
  • to adapt to climate change conditions
  • to mitigate greenhouse emissions
  • to help to transfer new technologies especially
    through the clean development mechanism and to
    make efforts to secure financial resources to
    assist developing countries which are especially
    vulnerable to climate change.

UN Climate Change summit in Bali, December 2007
  • UNWTO, in cooperation with other international
    Organizations, its member States and partners
    from the private sector will maintain climate
    change and tourism as a priority on its agenda,
    and has adopted for the 2008 World Tourism Day
    and the related year-long campaign the theme
    Tourism responding to the challenge of climate

IV)EU the environmental actions towards more
sustainable tourism
Launch of Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria
2008 1/2
  • The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria were
    launched by the United Nations Foundation, UNWTO,
    UNEP and the Rainforest Alliance at the IUCN
    World Conservation Congress 2008.
  • The new criteria were developed to offer a common
    framework to guide the emerging practice of
    sustainable tourism.
  • http//

Launch of Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria
2008 2/2
  • the criteria focus on four areas experts
    recommend as the most critical aspects of
    sustainable tourism 
  • maximizing tourisms social and economic benefits
    to local communities
  • reducing negative impacts on cultural heritage
  • reducing harm to local environments and planning
    for sustainability.
  • The GSTC Partnership is developing educational
    materials and technical tools to guide hotels and
    tour operators in implementing the criteria.

Sustainable Tourism in EU
  • European Unions so called Green Book in 1995 was
    the first attempt that stated that tourism is one
    of the rare industries that is made for to the
    realisation of sustainable development in
  • From 1998, DG Enterprise, in co-operation with DG
    Environment, has been helping to identify and
    analyse best practices and methods in sustainable
  • -It Co-operates also with the European
    Community Network for Environmental Travel
    Tourism (ECoNETT) and with LIFE.
  • In 2005 the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
    and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
    identified an agenda of 12 aims for sustainable
  • The EU Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) has
    three key objectives economic prosperity social
    Equity and cohesion and environmental
  • Taking each of these in turn, while reflecting on
    the above 12 aims, the following aims for the
    sustainability of European tourism are proposed
  • 1. Economic prosperity a) To ensure the long
    term competitiveness, viability and prosperity of
    tourism enterprises and destinations. b) to
    provide quality employment opportunities,
    offering fair pay and conditions for all
    employees and avoiding all forms of
  • 2. Social equity and cohesion a) To enhance the
    quality of life aof local communities through
    tourism and engage them its planning and
    management. b) To provide a safe, satisfying and
    fulfilling experience for visitors, available to
    all without discrimination by gender, race,
    religion, diability or inthe other ways.
  • 3. Environmental and cultural protection a) To
    minimise pollution and degradation of the global
    and local environment and the use of scarce
    resources by tourism activities. b) To maintain
    and strenghten cultural richness and biodiversity
    and contribute to their appreciation and

EU included aviation in emission trading system
  • The European Parliament voted in favour of
    including aviation in the EU Emissions Trading
    System (EU ETS) from 2012.
  • Under the new directive greenhouse gas emissions
    from flights to, from and within the EU will be
    included in the system.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from international air
    transport are increasing faster than from any
    other sector in the EU
  • "This agreement will enable the aviation sector
    to make a fair contribution to Europe's climate
    change targets as many other sectors are already
  • The directive is part of a comprehensive approach
    to addressing aviation emissions, which also
    includes more research into greener technologies
    and improvements in air traffic management
    through the creation of a 'Single European Sky'.

EU included aviation in emission trading system
  • Aviation currently account for about 3 of total
    EU greenhouse gas emissions, but they are
    increasing fast by 87 since 1990.
  • Someone flying from London to New York and back,
    for example, generates roughly the same amount of
    emissions as the average person in the EU does by
    heating their home for a whole year.
  • On current trends, aviation emissions are likely
    to more than double from present levels by 2020.
    This rapid growth contrasts with the success of
    many other sectors of the economy in reducing

  • The sustainable issues have been discussed over
    20 years.
  • Can you find any practical results of these
    attempts as a travel consumer?

V)Finland in environmental action
Sustainable Tourism in Finland
  • Finnish Tourist Board (FTB) noticed the need of
    sustainability and started in 1993 a programme
    Towards Sustainability Tourism in Finland
    (YSMEK), which covered an eco audit experiment
    in ten tourist enterprises and suggestions for
    further measures, and guidelines how
    sustainability can be fulfilled.
  • A report on continuation programme YSMEK 2
    Environmental management system for hotels and
    restaurants was published by FTB in 1997.
  • Finland is the promised land for events and
    therefore a publication that handles the
    environmental matters to be considered when
    organizing an event was the next action Finnish
    Tourist Board took (1999).
  • Today the environmental aspects of tourism are
    part of the Q1000- national quality system
    coordinated by FTB.
  • The corner stones of success in tourism
    ethical values quality of operations- take into
    consideration the environment and local

Helsinki Declaration, January 2009
  • Over 70 stakeholders of tourism industry made a
    commitment for the sustainable tourism
    development in Helsinki
  • Helsinki Declaration is a Finnish response for
    the UNWTOs work
  • The aim is to adapt to climate change conditions
    and to mitigate greenhouse emissions
  • The signed stakeholders represented the variety
    of tourism indutry from education to travel
    agencies and from air traffic to cruise operators
    from accommodation to program services
  • The declaration launched a process which will
    monitored every year
  • The next step will be a similar declaration for
    the international stakeholders who co-operate
    with Finnish travel industry

VI)Macro level the environmental policy of a
tourism sector company
  • Group working from policy to practice practical

On a macro level Environmental policy
  • An environmental policy is a written statement
    outlining an organisation's mission in relation
    to managing the environmental effects and aspects
    of its operations
  • states the environmental aims and principles of
    an organisation
  • should recognise organizations impact on
  • States the communication forms

On a macro level Environmental policy
  • Basic rules to follow to ensure the policy is
    clearly written and concise
  • keep the statement short - a sheet of A4
  • the statement is meant for everyone to see, so
    make sure it's easy to read and understand
  • the statement must be realistic, achievable and
    relevant to an organisation's activities and
  • demonstrate commitment to making the policy work
    and get the statement signed, dated and endorsed
    by the MD, Chief Executive or other senior

On a macro level Environmental policy
  • There is no standard content for an EP, although
    policies normally contain the same themes
  • a commitment to continuous improvement
  • recognition of compliance with relevant
    environmental legislation as a minimum level of
  • the education and training of employees in
    environmental issues
  • the monitoring of progress and review of
    environmental performance on a regular basis
    (usually annually)

  • Please work in groups of 5
  • Read and evaluate the environmental policy you
  • What areas/themes of environmental management are
    contained to the policy?
  • Is there something missing?
  • Consider practical solutions for the daily
    routines how the employees can implement the
    policy in their work
  • What do you think to be the most important
    reasons if the policy doesnt work in the

  • Coconut Court Beach Hotel http//
  • The Royal Garden Hotel http//
  • WEXAS Travel Management http//
  • The Co-operative Travel Management
  • Medical Tourismhttp//

Thank You!