Carbon mitigation and offsetting by U.S. ecotourism operators
About the project
This project examines the adoption of carbon mitigation and offsetting measures by United States (U.S.) tourism operators that are members of:
- The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
- Hawaii Ecotourism Association (HEA), and
- Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association (AWRTA).
It focuses on ecotourism enterprises such as accommodation, attractions, and tour operators that are listed as members of these U.S-based tourism associations. A survey reviews carbon reduction methods adopted by these U.S. ecotourism operators along with environmental and business motives for carbon mitigation and offsetting.
Climate change impacts on destinations and carbon emissions from travel are key issues for the global travel industry. A new report on Climate Change and Tourism Policy in OECD Countries (OECD & UNEP, 2011) states that the tourism industry and governments need to do more to reduce carbon emissions from travel. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has outlined a goal for the tourism industry to reduce carbon emissions by 25% of its 2005 levels by 2020 and by 50% by 2035. This project focuses on carbon reduction actions adopted by U.S. ecotourism enterprises.
The key objectives of the project are:
- to measure the level of awareness of U.S. ecotourism operators about climate change and tourism and their perceived need for action,
- to review carbon mitigation and offsetting measures implemented by those operators,
- to identify their motives for implementing carbon reduction measures, and
- to provide feedback to US ecotourism operators and associations on carbon mitigation actions.
This research includes:
- a website review of U.S. tourism agencies and tourism industry associations (e.g. TIES, HEA and AWRTA) for carbon mitigation and offsetting programs recommended by them
- a website review of U.S. ecotourism operators listed as members of TIES, HEA and AWRTA for carbon mitigation measures and carbon offsetting practices adopted by operators
- a survey of U.S. ecotourism operators profiling their attitudes to climate change, carbon mitigation and offsetting practices, and key motives for implementing climate change actions.
Associate Professor Heather Zeppel and Dr Narelle Beaumont
This research is funded by a United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney research grant
This project builds on previous research and working papers by the project team in relation to carbon mitigation by Queensland (Australian)tourism enterprises. For further information on that project go to www.usq.edu.au/acsbd/projects/tourism.
Climate Change and Global Tourism: A Research Compendium, Heather Zeppel, August 2011. ACSBD Working Paper No. 3.
Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development, University of Southern Queensland
US Ecotourism Poster
Other working papers on climate change and tourism are at: www.usq.edu.au/acsbd/publications/workingpapers.