For the first time in the history of travel more tourists are crossing international borders in a single year than ever before, in 2012 over one billion crossed, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).A lot are coming from established markets but more and more are traveling emerging economies – the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and across south-east Asia and Latin America.
In addition 5 or more billion people are also travelling in their own country and this too is growing..
Tourism is approx. 9% of world GDP, $1.3tn in exports and 6% of world trade.
So now you know: We have a lot of people creating footprints across the globe. Yep that means gas, fuel, heat, carbon emissions, pressure on resources, water, waste and cultural influences that are both good and bad.
I think we need Peter Diamandis perspective on this. I read his book abundance and he is not phased by footprint, saying technology will take care of it. Maybe but humans have to engineer the technology and alter some things so we can grow sustainably.
For the detail of What the UNWTO and other great bodies have to say see the article in the The Guaradian >>
Not much heard from hotel and destination on this yet.. But others are creating sustainable rewards and grading systems for environmentally friendly hotels. One hotelier has put up a sign that says “For every towel you don’t put out, we will plant a tree.” I wonder how the planting is going on his island?