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Chapter 3 Tourist Mobility Is transport a necessary evil

DOI: 10.23912/9781911396376-3853

ISBN: 9781911396376

Published: January 2018

Component type: chapter

Published in: Sustainable Value Creation in Hospitality

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911396376-3447



Tourism and hospitality create value for both consumers and providers of tourism and hospitality-related activities. Though current consumers and providers of tourist activities can appropriate this value in terms of respite, renewal, and happiness for consumers, and economic development, income and job generation for providers, future generations may well be prevented from being able to appropriate the same value (Becken, 2006; McKercher et al., 2010; Nawijn and Peeters, 2010; Jones, 2014). Climate change makes tourism and hospitality, as we currently know them, victims since global warming and loss of biodiversity threaten the attractiveness of many currently popular tourist locations. However, tourism and hospitality simultaneously contribute a relatively large extent to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Ram et al., 2013). A rough 5% of global GHG emissions were attributed to tourist activities, in a 2008 report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). A large part of the tourism sector’s share in global GHG emissions comes as a result of tourist transport activities. Tourism and transport are inextricably linked. In the past few decades tourist mobility increased significantly for all transport modalities (airplane, coach, automobile, cruise ship, etc.) and this trend is predicted to continue even further. This poses serious threats for the global climate. Consequently an increasing number of both practitioners and scholars ponder on opportunities to provide tourists with the same value yet through different means. This chapter explores opportunities to engage tourism and hospitality in the transition to a global carbon-neutral society, with a focus on transport.
Tourist mobility has various effects on the natural environment other than climate change, such as loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, and water, air, and soil toxicity. This is a consequence of both the use and production of transport modalities and related infrastructure. The focus in this chapter is on GHG emissions and climate change. Though transport is not directly in the sphere of influence of hotels and other providers of tourism and hospitality-related activities, it is in their sphere of concern due to their dependency on tourist flows. It is therefore of great importance to include a discussion on tourist mobility in a book dedicated to sustainable value creation in hospitality. In exploring opportunities to make tourist mobility carbon-neutral, three pathways to achieving this are being discussed: 1) technological innovations, 2) behavioural change of tourists, and 3) institutional innovations (i.e. policy making). We find that technological innovations 1) will likely fall short in solving the sustainability issues. In order to address these challenges behavioural change 2) is needed. Yet, since large-scale behavioural change is unlikely to come voluntarily, 3) institutions need to be designed that prescribe people’s behaviour in more sustainable terms.


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Cite as

Cavagnaro & Seidel, 2018

Cavagnaro, E. & Seidel, S. (2018) "Chapter 3 Tourist Mobility Is transport a necessary evil" In: Cavagnaro, E. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911396376-3853


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Published in Sustainable Value Creation in Hospitality

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