The carbon impact of short-haul tourism: a case study of UK travel to Southern France using life cycle analysis

Filimonau, Viachaslau and Dickinson, Janet and Robbins, Derek (2014) The carbon impact of short-haul tourism: a case study of UK travel to Southern France using life cycle analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production, 64. pp. 628-638. ISSN 09596526

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Tourism holds a significant share in the global carbon footprint. Transportation to the destination is recognized as the primary contributor, although its contribution can be less dominant in the context of short-haul travel. Previous studies do not provide a critical comparative analysis of how changes in travel behaviour, notably modal shift, affect the total carbon impacts from short-haul holidays; nor do they explore the relative contribution of the specific elements of the holiday product or account for global variations when measuring those contributions. This paper presents a carbon impact assessment case study of short-haul tourism to Southern France by British tourists. It applies an advanced, Life Cycle Assessment-based, method of evaluation, the hybrid DEFRA-LCA (Ecoinvent) approach, which is capable of appraising both the direct and the embodied ‘indirect’ greenhouse gas emissions. The principal finding supports the traditional view that transportation generates the largest carbon footprint and that the most significant carbon savings can be achieved by switching from air and car-based travel to train and coach. However, the study also indicates that if tourists stay at the destination longer, and travel to the destination by train or coach, the destination-based elements of the holiday can make a large carbon contribution and even outweigh the share of the transit element. The Life Cycle Assessment also shows that the ‘indirect’ greenhouse gas emissions from tourism in Southern France are significant, thus emphasizing the importance of their incorporation into future carbon impact appraisals.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Tourism; Transportation; Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; Life Cycle Assessment (LCA); Carbon footprint; Indirect impact
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Geography and Environmental Science
Depositing User: Users 3 not found.
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2014 15:40
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2014 15:32

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