In 2014, the tourism sector accounted for 10 per cent of global GDP and 277 million jobs (1 in 11 jobs) (WTTC, 2014). Tourism is the most important source of foreign exchange and foreign direct investment for many developing countries. However, it also contributes 5 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as a result of rapid growth in both domestic and international travel, an increasing tendency towards travelling longer distances over shorter periods of time, and the increasing preference for energy-intensive modes of transportation (UNEP, 2012).
Greening the tourism sector allows tourism growth, environmental conservation and social wellbeing to be mutually reinforcing – with green tourism creating new, green jobs, supporting the local economy and reducing poverty.
Relevance to the SDGs
The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets 8.9 and 12.b address sustainable tourism’s role in creating jobs and promoting local culture and products. Target 14.7 identifies the economic benefits of tourism for Small Islanded Developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries.
Explore green growth resources related to SDGs: