Tourism & the Climate Crisis: World Tourism Day Focuses on Our Carbon Footprint

Tourism & the Climate Crisis: World Tourism Day Focuses on Our Carbon Footprint

Oct 14, 2021|News| by Holbrook Travel

Holbrook Travel participated in breakout sessions at the annual World Tourism Day Forum, held September 28-29, 2021 by the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) and Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency. This year’s focus was “Tourism in a Climate Crisis.”

The event is the beginning of an initiative to bridge the disconnect between the goals that destinations, accommodations, and tour operators are told they must meet when it comes to mitigating the climate crisis, and the action steps that need to be taken.

“The Holbrook team joined other travel providers in breakout sessions,” said Holbrook’s COO Stephanie Kowacz. “The goal is to create actionable next steps for our climate-action journey, both here in our home offices and on our travel programs. We need to go beyond offsetting the carbon that we use, and find ways to use less carbon. The key is to take firm climate action NOW and communicate this to our staff, clients and suppliers.”

Below is an excerpt from the event’s call to action:

Tourism in a Climate Crisis

Humanity’s contributions – including those of the travel industry – to our warming planet have put everything at stake.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, "Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened since AR5 [their Fifth Assessment Report release in 2013]."

The IPCC warns that global temperatures will exceed 2°C beyond pre-industrial temperatures during the 21st century, exceeding the 1.5°C limit put forth by The Paris Agreement. That is, unless we collectively and drastically start reducing our greenhouse gas emissions now and in the coming decades.

What does this mean for the tourism industry? Tourism both contributes to and is impacted by the ongoing climate crisis, meaning not only will these climate extremes greatly impact destinations and the tourists who visit them, but it also means the tourism industry can – and needs to be – part of the solution.

Knowing how and where to start can be overwhelming. This virtual event will focus on helping key sectors bridge the disconnect between the goals they are warned must be met when it comes to mitigating the climate crisis and the action steps they need to take.