A new report, presented at the Blue Tourism Forum taking place in Paris on June 20th, highlights the need for better monitoring, cooperation and governance schemes between the tourism industry, governments and local communities, to drastically reduce the impact of coastal and maritime tourism on natural environment, in particular on ocean, air, land and water resources, while ensuring its resilience to climate events and increasing its contribution to sustainable development.
This report provides an assessment of the state of coastal and maritime tourism around the world, focusing on major marine regions such as the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean. It identifies the main actors, future trends, common issues and set of solutions to green the blue tourism activities from resorts, hotels, cruises and eco-tourism facilities.
It was coordinated by Jeremie Fosse, NGO Eco Union, with the contribution of ADEME, MTES and Julien Rochette, Ocean Programme Director at IDDRI.
Accounting for 10% of the global GDP and employment, travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest industry, with a growth of 3.9% in 2018, well above the average global GDP growth (3.2%) for the past eight years. While well-managed tourism can be a source of revenue, jobs and economic dynamism, mass tourism puts high pressures on coastal ecosystems already subject to intense human impact. Indeed, international tourism already generates 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, mainly through air transport. Additionally, it is a major source of waste and marine litter, energy and water over-consumption, and land-use change through coastal built-infrastructures, which overall dramatically contributes to biodiversity loss, reduces the resilience to climate events and alters fragile ecosystems. Those negative impacts of mass tourism, driven by the rise of luxury cruises and beach resorts development globally, are putting in danger the livelihood of millions of people living in coastal communities, highly dependent on the quality of ocean and natural resources for food and water security. Those exponentially growing destinations, usually located in vulnerable countries with poor technical, financial or political ressources have very limited capability to adapt to climate change consequences such as sea-level rise, floods, fires or storms, or avoid environmental pollution or depletion of natural resources.