Climate action in tourism

Climate change is already impacting holiday destinations around the world.  It threatens the resources and environments on which tourism relies and is increasingly likely to impact people’s willingness and ability to travel.

We promote climate action in tourism, build capacity with the tourism sector to meet this challenge and support Destination Management Organisations to create meaningful climate action plans, enabling them to play a critical role in catalysing climate action. This includes supporting efforts that bring together the public and private sectors to unlock destination-wide solutions, and that enable the many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the supply chain.

The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism

We are a co-author of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, a UNWTO-led initiative that is leading and aligning climate action across tourism stakeholders.  The Declaration is an urgent call for a decade of climate action with the aim of halving emissions from tourism by 2030.  We are now urging all tourism organisations to sign up to the declaration and are supporting tourism organisations to take the action required.

Around 700 tourism organisations have already signed up, including DMOs such as VisitScotland, Turismo de Portugal, Turisme de Barcelona, London & Partners, the Pacific Tourism Organisation, Destination Québec Cité, and Visit Finland, which recently brought 60 DMO and business signatories into the initiative along with them.

The Declaration offers five pathways for climate action: measure, decarbonise, regenerate, collaborate and finance. Recommended actions under each of these categories are set out on the One Planet Network website, with a library of resources and more planning tools including a 2023 report which provides an overview of emissions measurement in tourism alongside an assessment of the sector’s climate action efforts.

Climate Action Planning

Scotland castle
We support tourism organisations to create meaningful, effective climate action plans, providing guiding frameworks, linking organisations to others, building the knowledge and capacity of staff, as well as providing strategic recommendations and the inspiration needed to integrate climate action effectively within strategies, policies, and plans.
We recently helped Visit Scotland and the Enterprise Network (Scottish EnterpriseHighlands and Islands Enterprise, and South of Scotland Enterprise) kickstart their work on destination climate action planning by launching pilot schemes in Glasgow, the Outer Hebrides, and Inverness & Loch Ness (chosen with the aim of representing different tourism types and contexts). We then helped these three destinations to develop a framework to guide climate action planning, produce their initial Climate Action Plans, and act as a demonstration for other Scottish destinations.  Read our case study to find out more.

We are also working with the Instituto Honduran de Turismo (the Honduras Ministry of Tourism), in collaboration with Sustentur, to build climate action planning capacity within the Ministry of Tourism and more broadly across the destination. This project will particularly focus on adaptation. Honduras, one of the poorest countries in Latin America, is extremely vulnerable to the climate crisis due to its high exposure to climate-related hazards such as hurricanes, floods and droughts combined with a high percentage of rural poor communities who depend on the land for livelihoods.

We will be running online and in-person workshops for key ministry stakeholders and external representatives, develop an overview of the situation in Honduras, build a Climate Action Task Force, with set goals and priorities and support the Ministry to produce their Climate Action Plan.

Luis Guillermo Chevez, Vice Minister of Tourism for Honduras recently spoke at our webinar on Shaping your Role in Climate Action. He said: “We need to adapt to the situation but, at the same time, preserve the remaining natural resources, which is what makes our country great.”


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