The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC), initiated by the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, have released the latest Environmental Impact Research data, marking a significant milestone in the industry’s journey towards sustainability.
This collaborative effort, which began last year during the WTTC Global Summit in Riyadh, has culminated in the most comprehensive environmental data ever compiled in the history of Travel & Tourism. The inaugural results unveiled include the sector’s accurate greenhouse gas emissions, providing invaluable insights for decision-makers worldwide.
H.E. Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, emphasized the importance of this joint report as a crucial resource, highlighting the sector’s influence on climate change and its reciprocal effects. He noted the consistent decline in emissions intensity over the last decade, underscoring Saudi Arabia’s commitment to leading the charge towards sustainability and supporting communities.
The report not only sheds light on the sector’s direct impact but also delves into the supply chain impacts, both nationally and internationally. Covering 185 countries across all regions, the Environmental Impact Research data will be updated annually, ensuring up-to-date information for stakeholders.
Building on WTTC’s renowned Economic Impact Research, this initiative introduces individualized factsheets for each country and major global regions, alongside a dedicated microsite for detailed exploration of the data. Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, highlighted the multi-dimensional impact of the sector and the vision for a sustainable future, emphasizing the importance of reducing the environmental footprint while boosting social impact.
H.E. Gloria Guevara, Chief Special Advisor of the Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, echoed these sentiments, expressing pride in Saudi Arabia’s role in uniting the sector towards a net-zero future. She emphasized the STGC’s mission to be a global leader in sustainable Travel & Tourism, delivering impactful research and tangible solutions.
Arnold Donald, Chairman of WTTC, lauded the report as a significant contribution to the sector’s sustainable growth, highlighting Saudi Arabia’s leadership in advancing global Travel and Tourism.
The comprehensive data intertwines economic metrics with crucial environmental and social issues, revealing the nexus between economic growth and its consequential impacts. Key highlights include reductions in water usage, greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and material extraction, alongside the sector’s performance towards 15 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
This pioneering work sets the trajectory for future initiatives, aligning the Travel & Tourism sector with global sustainability milestones and fostering cooperation and conversation among all industry stakeholders.