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Portugal’s, Italy's and Germany's travel & tourism climate footprint
Wednesday, 22nd March 2023
Source : World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)

Portugal’s & Italy's travel & tourism sector is becoming more energy efficient, emissions intensity declined, whilst GDP continued to grow; Germany leads the way in reducing absolute emissions.

New groundbreaking data from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Saudi-based Sustainable Tourism Global Center reveals the climate footprint of the Travel & Tourism sector in Portugal.

In one of the largest research projects of its kind ever undertaken, WTTC can, for the first time ever, accurately report and track the impact the sector has on the environment.

According to the data, Portugal’s Travel & Tourism has continued to grow, whilst reducing its emissions intensity.

In 2019, the sector accounted for 17.8% of total greenhouse gas emissions across Portugal. Whilst this is above the European average, WTTC’s EIR research also shows how heavily the Portuguese economy relies on Travel & Tourism. In 2019, the sector contributed nearly €38 billion, representing almost one fifth of the overall economy.

But this share dropped eight percentage points, to reach 9.8% in 2020 and 10.2% in 2021, mainly due to the reduced activity in the sector during the pandemic.

Between 2010 and 2019, Portugal's Travel & Tourism sector's economic growth decoupled from its greenhouse gas emissions.

During this period, the sector’s contribution to the national economy grew on average nearly 5% annually, while greenhouse gas emissions increased by 4.1% per year.

In 2010, for every €1 generated by Travel & Tourism in Portugal, the sector produced 0.77 kg of greenhouse gases.

But this figure dropped by an average annual rate of nearly 1% until 2019, when Travel & Tourism was at its peak, to reach 0.72 kg per €1 created. In the years that followed, this amount decreased even further, reaching 0.59 kg per €1 in 2021.

This significant decrease clearly demonstrates the impact of changes implemented by the Portuguese government and business leaders to create a more sustainable sector.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Portugal’s Travel & Tourism sector has decoupled its economic growth from its greenhouse gas emissions and continues to reduce its emissions intensity.

“We know there is still work to be done. To reach our goals and ambitions, we must make bigger and bolder steps to reduce our absolute emissions.
“We need continued government support in increasing sustainable transportation. This will have a significant impact on our footprint, minimising our absolute emissions, which will see the sector meet its goals and ambitions.”

Energy Usage

The global tourism body also provides insights on the sector’s energy usage and efficiency, and shows that between 2010 and 2019, the sector’s total energy usage increased by only 3.6% annually, demonstrating that while Travel & Tourism continued to grow, it also became more energy efficient.

Between 2010 and 2021, the share of low-carbon energy in the national energy mix increased from 6.6% to 7.5%, whilst the sector’s reliance on fossil fuels as a source of energy also declined.

This comprehensive research covers 185 countries across all regions and will be updated each year with the latest figures.

This research was made possible thanks to the partnership between WTTC and the Saudi-based Sustainable Tourism Global Center. Under the Saudi green Initiative, more than 60 initiatives have been launched in the past year, representing more than $186BN USD of investment in the green economy.

New WTTC environmental data reveals Italy’s Travel & Tourism sector’s climate footprint

Sector’s GDP has grown on average 1.1% annually while greenhouse gas emissions increased by just 0.2% each year

  • Italy’s Travel & Tourism is becoming more energy efficient

New groundbreaking data from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Saudi-based Sustainable Tourism Global Center reveals the climate footprint of the Travel & Tourism sector in Italy.

In one of the largest research projects of its kind, the global tourism body can for the first time ever, accurately report and track the impact the sector has on the environment.

According to the data, Italy’s Travel & Tourism has continued to grow, whilst reducing its emissions intensity. 

In 2019, the sector accounted for 8.4% of total greenhouse gas emissions across Italy, below the European average of 10.7%.

But this share dropped even further to 4.2% in 2020, mainly due to the reduced activity in the sector during the pandemic.

Between 2010 and 2019, Italy's Travel & Tourism sector's economic growth decoupled from its greenhouse gas emissions.

During this period, the sector’s total contribution to the national economy grew on average 1.1% annually, whilst greenhouse gas emissions increased by just 0.2% per year.

The figures also show that the sector’s emissions intensity continues to decrease.

In 2010, Travel & Tourism produced 0.37 kg of greenhouse gases for every €1 generated by the sector in Italy.

This figure dropped by an average of almost 1% annually by 2019, when Travel & Tourism was at its peak, to reach 0.34 kg per €1 created. In the years that followed, this amount decreased even further, reaching 0.27 kg per €1 in 2021. 

This significant decline illustrates the impact of changes implemented by the Italian government and business leaders to create a more sustainable sector.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: "Italy’s Travel & Tourism sector is growing strongly. But it has decoupled its economic growth from its greenhouse gas emissions and continues to reduce its emissions intensity.

“We need continued government support in increasing sustainable transportation. That means electric ground vehicles and ensuring Italy has a good supply of Sustainable Aviation Fuel. This will have a significant impact on our footprint, minimising our absolute emissions.”

Energy Usage

The global tourism body also provides insights on the sector’s energy usage and efficiency, and shows that between 2010 and 2019, the sector’s total energy usage decreased by 0.2% annually, demonstrating that while Travel & Tourism continued to grow, it also became more energy efficient.
 
Between 2010 and 2021, the share of low-carbon energy sources in the national energy mix has seen a gradual increase, from 6.1% in 2010, to 9.3% in 2021, whilst the sector’s reliance on fossil fuels as a source of energy also dropped.

This comprehensive research covers 185 countries across all regions and will be updated each year with the latest figures.

This research was made possible thanks to the partnership between WTTC and the Saudi-based Sustainable Tourism Global Center. Under the Saudi green Initiative, more than 60 initiatives have been launched in the past year, representing more than $186BN USD of investment in the green economy.

WTTC reveals Germany’s Travel & Tourism sector’s climate footprint

  • Germany leads the way in reducing absolute emissions in Travel & Tourism 

Sector’s GDP has grown on average 1.5% annually while greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 1.1% each year

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Saudi-based Sustainable Tourism Global Center have unveiled groundbreaking new data detailing the climate footprint of the Travel & Tourism sector in Germany.

In one of the largest research projects of its kind, WTTC can for the first time ever, accurately report and track the impact the sector has on the environment.

According to this groundbreaking new data, Germany is one of just a few major countries where Travel & Tourism has continued to grow, whilst reducing its absolute emissions. 

In 2019, the sector was responsible for 10.3% of total greenhouse gas emissions across Germany.

This dropped more than four percentage points, to reach 5.9% in 2020 and 5.8% in 2021, mainly due to the reduced activity in the sector during the pandemic period.

Between 2010 and 2019, Germany’s Travel & Tourism sector decoupled its greenhouse gas emissions from its growth.

During this period, greenhouse gas emissions decreased on average by 1.1% per year, whilst Travel & Tourism’s total contribution to Germany’s economy grew 1.5% on average annually.

The figures also show that the sector’s emissions intensity continues to decrease.
In 2010, for every €1 generated by Travel & Tourism in Germany, the sector emitted 0.55 kg of greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2019, when Travel & Tourism was at its peak, this figure dropped by 22% to 0.43 kg per €1 created, and continued to fall in the following years, to a low of 0.36 kg per €1 in 2021.

This significant decline illustrates the impact of changes implemented by the German government and business leaders to create a more sustainable sector.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Our data shows that Germany is one of the few Travel & Tourism powerhouses which is decreasing its absolute emissions whilst continuing to grow year-on-year.

“The Travel & Tourism sector has decoupled its economic growth from its greenhouse gas emissions and continues to reduce its emissions intensity, but we know there is still work to be done. To reach our goals and ambitions, we must make bigger and bolder steps to reduce our absolute emissions.

“We need government support in accelerating the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels which will have a significant impact on our footprint, as well as bringing in more renewable energy to our national grids.”

Energy Usage

The global tourism body also provides insights on the sector’s energy usage and efficiency, and shows that between 2010 and 2019, the sector’s total energy usage increased by only 0.2% annually.

This demonstrates that while Travel & Tourism continued to grow, it also became more energy efficient. 

Between 2019 and 2021, the sector has reduced its energy intensity by 18.3%, highlighting the strides made by Travel & Tourism to slash energy usage.

This comprehensive research covers 185 countries across all regions and will be updated each year with the latest figures.

This research was made possible thanks to the partnership between WTTC and the Saudi-based Sustainable Tourism Global Center. Under the Saudi green Initiative, more than 60 initiatives have been launched in the past year, representing more than $186BN USD of investment in the green economy.

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