Sustainable Tourism

Over the past decades, tourism has continuously expanded and turned into one of the largest and fastest-growing economic sectors worldwide. The World Tourism Organization – a United Nations’ organization – acknowledges that today the business volume of tourism surpasses that of oil exports or even manufacturing of automobiles. Tourism is one of the major players in ‎international commerce, and represents at the same time one main source of income for many countries, both developed and developing. The German tourism industry, for example, contributes about 4% of GDP and nearly 7% of total employment, surpassing automobiles, ICT and the construction sector.

Tourism and the tourism industry play a particularly important role in the development of a sustainable economy: Not only because of its sheer size, but also because tourism is closely related to key sectors like air and land transportation. Tourism is often a major source of income in vulnerable eco-systems, like coast or mountain areas. The tourism industry is of special significance also in the context of the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Tourism is a social and economic phenomenon which contributes to economic growth, social development and mutual understanding around the world. Mostly underestimated is the impact of tourism on the economy, the natural environment, the local population in the places visited and the visitors themselves. It is of vital interest for the sector to sustain the basis of its prosperity – the tourism destinations – in all its dimensions.

Our climate economics team has comprehensive experience in the economic analysis of the tourism sector and in measuring sustainable tourism. We support governments, tourism destinations and private sector firms to develop their strategies and policies for improving their sustainable tourism policies. This includes:

  • Compilation of statistical information into so-called Tourism- Satellite-Accounts (TSA)
  • Economic footprint of tourism, tourism demand and the tourism industry
  • Carbon footprint of tourism
  • Ex post evaluation of tourism policies
  • Ex ante impact assessment of (sustainable) tourism policies
  • Assessment of the sustainability of tourism demand and the tourism sector
  • Quantitative analyses of tourism demand
  • Quantification of tourism related tax revenues

Related projects are listed below