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Business News/ News / Sustainable tourism industry set for profitable growth, say experts at Dubai session
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Sustainable tourism industry set for profitable growth, say experts at Dubai session

Experts explain how growing demand for sustainable travel presents financial incentives for tourism industry.

Sustainable tourism industry set for profitable growth, experts predict (AP)Premium
Sustainable tourism industry set for profitable growth, experts predict (AP)

Environment-friendly and sustainable tourism could be profitable for businesses while reducing carbon emissions, say experts expressing their opinion at the session held in Dubai, keeping with its theme for this year, ‘Working Towards Net Zero’, ATM 2023.

United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals could be achieved by 2030 and Net Zero Target by 2050 if travel and tour operators could benefit more by investing in technologies to make tourism more sustainable industry.

At a seminar held as part of the recently-held Arabian Travel Market, Dr. Miniya Chatterji, CEO, Sustain Labs Paris, a flag bearer of sustainability across all industry said, "Sustainable tourism need not be expensive and can be profitable as well as cost-effective, if we plan our initiatives carefully." 

Tourism is a US$2 trillion global business that is predicted to cross an all-time high annual global revenue of US$2.28 billion this year, surpassing the total tourism industry revenue of US$2.2 trillion in a pre-pandemic year(2019).

According to a research report published by Research Analysis and Insights, a global market intelligence provider, sustainable tourism is a US$242.54 billion business globally that is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.2 percent and is predicted to reach US$369.54 billion by 2029, 

United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) reported that more than 900 million tourists travelled internationally in 2022 - double the number recorded in 2021 though still 63 percent of pre-pandemic levels. Every global region recorded notable increases in international tourist numbers as compared to last year.

“As a policymaker in the tourism field, we make policy and read the industry, especially in the private sector, in terms of how we can ensure the sustainable development of this sector and how we can change the tourist experience," Ghada Shalaby, Deputy Tourism Minister of Egypt said.

As the global economy is continually growing and becoming even more interconnected, organisations are recognising the need to ensure their supply chain operations are as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible. To achieve this, businesses need to understand where, and how, their supply chains begin and formulate strategies and plans to ensure all aspects of the chain are addressed when contributing to sustainability efforts. 

"Technology is used extensively to connect small and medium enterprises; we are the industry that has grown fastest after the recession. As a responsibility, our strategy should be zero CO2 footprint; it must be the vision and mission as tourism is a responsibility. As the travel industry fully embraces its transformation to a sustainable industry, we must not forget the supply chain impact. Travel providers, governments, and academics need to ensure there is cohesion with all suppliers within the value chain," Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism of Jamaica said

Most international surveys show that travellers want to travel better and seek sustainable tourism products all the way.

A Booking.com survey reveals that 81% of global travelers confirm that sustainable travel is important to them. Approximately 50% of the travelers were influenced by recent news about climate change which has motivated them to make more sustainable travel choices. As much as 57% of travelers would feel better staying in a particular accommodation if they knew it had a sustainable certification. Over 100,000 properties globally are being recognised for their sustainability efforts with a Travel Sustainable badge on Booking.com.

“With the increase in demand for tourism, sustainability has become important too. There can be new companies with sustainability models as well as traditional companies that are now needing to change," Dr. Miniya Chatterji said.

"In a business-as-usual scenario, tourism would generate through 2050 an increase of 154 percent in energy consumption, 131 percent in greenhouse gas emissions, 152 percent in water consumption, and 251 percent in solid waste disposal," she added.

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Published: 15 May 2023, 02:51 PM IST
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