Environmental Issues Affecting the Travel Industry

Environmental protection is now one of the most discussed and debated topics around the world. Many companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to create products or make their products eco-friendly. An example is the electric car that is being studied as a viable option to the current gasoline car. In 2009, world leaders met in Copenhagen to discuss ways they can prevent global warming and reduce the effects of climate change, while actually protecting the environment. The travel industry has not been left out of this topic either. In an industry where the number of people traveling internationally is expected to reach the one billion mark by 2010, there are concerns about their contribution to environmental damage. Also, like any other industry, the travel industry must be concerned with environmentally friendly ways of doing business. Outlined below are some of the environmental issues affecting the travel industry that stakeholders need to address, and in some cases seek long-term solutions.

1. The aviation that transports hundreds of thousands of tourists around the world is a matter of great concern for those who seek to protect the environment. One of the main concerns of the industry are greenhouse gas emissions and their participation in climate change. Aviation produces at least two percent of emissions. One way the aviation industry is working on this problem is by launching newer planes that have fuel-efficient engines, which means fewer carbon emissions. However, not all airlines, especially in poorer countries, can afford to buy new planes.

2. Mass tourism. With the cost of travel getting cheaper and more and more people venturing farther away from their countries to places that were previously inaccessible but can now be reached by air transport, areas of environmental and historical significance are becoming populated. . This is putting pressure on the ecosystems within these areas and threatening the flora and fauna. In addition, climate change is going to mean that certain places will not be favorable to visitors because the weather conditions will become extreme, which will lead to overcrowding in other places with more favorable climatic conditions. Again, this presents a danger to the ecosystems in overpopulated areas and to tourism in the area.

3. Deforestation. Despite the global call to protect the environment, there are still areas where massive logging is taking place. This is also contributing to the destruction of flora and fauna and is a threat to tourism in those areas.

4. With the call to go green affecting all industries around the world, the tourism industry has not been left out. There is pressure on those in the industry to find ways of doing business that are sustainable and environmentally friendly. For example, can the hotel industry build hotels that are more environmentally friendly? What methods can you use to conserve energy and reduce chemicals used in dry cleaning tons of used clothing in the industry?

5. Human invasion. With populations continuing to grow around the world, there is now a competition between man and animals for space. Humans are now encroaching on areas like National Parks that are protected and marked for wildlife. This has led to reports of people and their livestock being killed by wild animals, which in turn leads to people hunting and killing these animals that are seen as a threat. This is a threat to tourism in the area. Human encroachment is also forcing animals away from their habitat to other areas where they cannot survive, leading to the extinction of certain species.

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