One Planet Webinar - Circular Economy: Exploring an Innovative Approach for the Tourism Sector

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6 Jun 2018
One Planet

On 6 June 2018 (2:00PM CEST) the One Planet – Sustainable Tourism Programme (UNWTO and governments of France, Morocco and Republic of Korea) are holding a webinar on "Circular Economy: Exploring an Innovative Approach for the Tourism Sector ."

Currently the tourism sector represents 10% of global GDP, one in ten jobs and 7% of global exports, being the third largest export sector in the world. In 2017, 1.3 billion international tourists travelled the world. The sector is expected to continue growing 3.3% annually until 2030 – a year in which 1.8 billion tourists will cross borders, and over 7 billion will travel within their home countries –, not without an increase of environmental impacts related to the sector. With an extensive and transversal value chain and the particularity of enabling direct interaction between consumers (tourists) and producers (stakeholders at the destinations), tourism, if well managed, has the potential to create positive, longlasting impacts that go well beyond the sector. 

A key approach to address the decoupling challenge in every economic sector is circularity, a concept which is rooted in circular economy thinking and explores opportunities to move from linear to circular SCP patterns, promoting closed material loops and enhanced resource efficiency with a system-wide approach along the entire value chain.

Embracing circularity implies development of innovative business models that create value through restoration, regeneration and re-use of resources as well as new models of consumption that move away from traditional ideas of ownership towards sharing economies. Circularity represents an opportunity for tourism businesses and more specifically SMEs to increase their innovativeness for sustainability and as the consequence, their competitivity contributing to the long-term health and resilience of tourism activities, and thus the sector as a whole. Additionally, the tourism sector, for its service-oriented nature, provides opportunities to replicate and implement existing best practices across its transversal value chain.

The objectives of the webinar are to:

  • Provide definitions of circular economy and explore potential of circular models within the tourism sector;
  • Learn more about innovative business models that apply circular principles;
  • Explore concrete results of implementation of circular business models through the case study of Hotel Verde project.

Participants will have the opportunity to raise questions and more broadly obtain access to top sustainability experts working on the implementation of circular economy models.


Circular Economy: Exploring an Innovative Approach for the Tourism Sector is part of a series of webinars on circularity in tourism sector that are a product of collaboration between leading members of the One Planet – Sustainable Tourism Programme (UNWTO and governments of France, Morocco and Republic of Korea) and UN Environment. For the third consecutive year, the Sustainable Tourism Programme develops series of stimulating webinars to advance sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in the tourism sector. Each session broadens the experience of professionals working in the sector by building knowledge of science-based and real solutions for implementing sustainable tourism on the ground. This year, the cycle of webinars aims at showcasing how circular economy solutions in the tourism sector can accelerate the shift to SCP and the implementation of SDG 12 (on Sustainable Consumption and Production), being this year under in-depth review at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). 

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