Whittlesea & Owen - Towards a low carbon future - the development and application of REAP Tourism, a destination footprint and scenario tool.pdf

This article was downloaded by: [Ieva Zebryte] On: 06 January 2013, At: 11:51 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK Journal of Sustainable Tourism Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: Towards a low carbon future – the development and application of REAP Tourism, a destination foot
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  This article was downloaded by: [Ieva Zebryte]On: 06 January 2013, At: 11:51Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK Journal of Sustainable Tourism Publication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information: Towards a low carbon future – thedevelopment and application of REAPTourism, a destination footprint andscenario tool Emma Rachel Whittlesea a  & Anne Owen ba  Earth and Environmental Sciences, School of Geography,University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK b  Faculty of Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UKVersion of record first published: 08 May 2012. To cite this article:  Emma Rachel Whittlesea & Anne Owen (2012): Towards a low carbon future– the development and application of REAP Tourism, a destination footprint and scenario tool,Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 20:6, 845-865 To link to this article: PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLEFull terms and conditions of use: article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representationthat the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of anyinstructions, formulae, and drug doses should be independently verified with primarysources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings,demand, or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly orindirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.   Journal of Sustainable Tourism Vol. 20, No. 6, July 2012, 845–865 Towards a low carbon future – the development and applicationof REAP Tourism, a destination footprint and scenario tool Emma Rachel Whittlesea a ∗ and Anne Owen  b a  Earth and Environmental Sciences, School of Geography, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK; b  Faculty of Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK  (  Received 24 December 2010; final version received 22 March 2012 )This paper explores the development and application of a bespoke modelling and sce-nario tool to quantify the full greenhouse gas (CO 2 e) footprint associated with visitor activity and consumption. Designed for use by destination decision-makers, it helpsunderstand the full CO 2 e impact of visitors, explores potential mitigation strategiesand identifies emissions reduction possibilities. REAP Tourism can calculate direct and indirect supply chain emissions related to accommodation, travel, food, shopping, ser-vices, attractions, activities and events. This paper demonstrates the tool at a range of different geographic levels in South West England. Initial results show overseas visitorsto have an impact of 196 kg CO 2 e per day, domestic overnight visitors having 49 kgand day visitors 48 kg. Further exploration shows the tool’s ability to show the impactof different marketing/development scenarios on CO 2 e emissions including holidayinglocally strategies, encouraging longer stays, buying local goods and encouraging lowmeat diets. Comparisons show that luxury weekend visitors have five times the dailyimpact of family holiday visitors and ten times those of back-packers. The strengths and weaknesses of the tool’s methodologies and its range of outputs able to inform tourism policy and decision-making are discussed. Keywords:  greenhouse gas; climate change; scenario analysis; policy-making; strategy planning; tourism destinations Introduction The tourism industry’s success is measured primarily by economic and growth-related in-dicators including tourist arrivals, spend per head, employment levels and the monetaryvalue of its services. This practice is present from global to local measurement and informsstrategic frameworks for the tourism sector. However, the tourism economy and associated growth is heavily reliant on fossil fuels emitting greenhouse gases (GHGs), now increas-ingly important for countries to measure, manage and minimise in line with internationalreduction targets. Under the Kyoto Protocol (United Nations, 1998) these emissions haveto be monitored and reported annually. The second International Conference on ClimateChange and Tourism held in 2007 recognised the importance of this: the resulting DavosDeclaration urged the entire tourism sector to “progressively reduce its greenhouse gasemissions” (UNWTO, 2007, p. 2). The tourism industry and its destinations were clearlyidentified as a key delivery and action agent for change. ∗ Corresponding author. Email:  ISSN 0966-9582 print / ISSN 1747-7646 online C   2012 Taylor & Francis    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   I  e  v  a   Z  e   b  r  y   t  e   ]  a   t   1   1  :   5   1   0   6   J  a  n  u  a  r  y   2   0   1   3  846  E.R. Whittlesea and A. Owen Tourism’s contribution to global GHGs is calculated as between 5% and 14%, withtransport generating around 75% of that share (UNWTO-UNEP-WMO, 2008). Numerousapproaches and methodologies have been used to explore the potential contribution of tourism and tourist activity to GHGs internationally (Howitt, Revol, Smith, & Roger, 2010;Peeters&Dubois,2010;Scott,Peeters,&G¨ossling,2010),nationally(Becken&Patterson,2006; Dwyer, Forsyth, Spurr, & Hoque, 2010; Jackson, Kotsovos, & Morissette, 2008;Jones & Munday, 2007; Patterson & McDonald, 2004), and at regional level (G¨ossling &Schumacher, 2010; Kelly & Williams, 2007; Konan & Chan, 2010; Kuo & Chen, 2009;Walzetal.,2008).Researchintotherelationshipbetweenemissionsandtourismatregionaland sub-regional levels is growing with input from both practitioners and academics. Moststudies focus on the direct carbon dioxide emissions of the tourism industry, as data and methods are more readily available. A more comprehensive approach, which also alignswith international policy and targets (United Nations, 1998), considers the full GHGsassociated with all visitor activity, including emissions from both the burning of fossil fuelsand those embedded within supply chains.The first challenge is quantifying and interpreting the destination baseline and under-standing the construction of the CO 2 e footprint. Once this has been examined the areas of highest impact can be identified and future scenarios can be explored to investigate howtourism emissions can be reduced. This can help regions and destinations inform their strategic plans and set realistic targets and actions to manage and minimise GHGs.This paper presents REAP Tourism (Resource Energy Analysis Programme for Tourism), a bespoke tourism footprinting and scenario tool designed and produced in2009 by South West Tourism 1 in the UK in partnership with the Stockholm EnvironmentInstitute (SEI). It combines day and overnight visitor volume data with data on visitor ex- penditure,accommodationchoicesandrecreationalbehaviour,multipliedbyenvironmentalimpact conversion factors. The model was developed for use by regional and destinationdecision-makers to help understand the full CO 2 e impact of visitors. It can be used to ex- plore potential mitigation strategies and identify where to focus emissions reduction effortsin tourism at a regional and destination level. The model builds on work undertaken byG¨ossling (2002) and Becken and Simmons (2002) and responds to a research gap identified in a report for the UK government department DEFRA. 2 The report on mapping evidenceandtrendsinsustainabletourism(SQWConsulting,2007)suggestedthatamodelbedevel-oped to measure and investigate the environmental footprint of the UK’s tourism industry, by different visitor types and sector components.The tool provides baseline emissions for a region and its subsequent administrativeareas and has been designed to be “user friendly”, transparent and meaningful for use by tourism practitioners. In addition to quantifying the baseline, the tool can also profilescenarios, visitor types and events.This paper describes the methodology behind “REAP Tourism” and demonstrates itsfunctionality using the South West region of the UK to explore the CO 2 e impact of tourism. REAP Tourism: its design and scope The open and complex nature of tourism means it is crucial to define what we mean bytourismandtheboundariesofimpactfortheREAPTourismtool.G¨ossling(2009)reiteratesthe importance of transparency when describing system boundaries: boundary changes can play as much a part in the quantity of emissions as carbon reduction strategies.    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   I  e  v  a   Z  e   b  r  y   t  e   ]  a   t   1   1  :   5   1   0   6   J  a  n  u  a  r  y   2   0   1   3   Journal of Sustainable Tourism  847  Defining visitor impact  Initial tourism impact studies assigned visitors an impact equal to that of residents in thehost country or their country of srcin (Cole & Sinclair, 2002; Patterson, Niccolucci, &Bastianoni, 2007, Wackernagel and Rees, 1996) but limitations were recognised; visitorshaveauniquesetofbehavioursanddemandsthataredifferenttoresidentsandtheiractivitiesneedtobemeasuredseparately(G¨ossling,Borgstr ¨omHansson,H¨orstmeier,&Saggel,2002;Hunter, 2002). In attempting to measure visitors’ unique impacts, other studies measured the energy used by accommodation providers and tourist attractions (Becken, Simmons,& Frampton, 2003), converting energy use into CO 2  estimates (Becken, 2005; Dickinson,Robbins, & Lumsdon, 2010) and CO 2 e (Byrnes & Warnken, 2006; G¨ossling 2002; Konan&Chan,2010).ThemostcomprehensiveworktodateispresentedintheWTO/UNEP2008Climate Change and Tourism report (UNWTO-UNEP-WMO, 2008), using 2005 data, thefirst attempt to calculate global CO 2  emissions from the three main tourism sub-sectors.The measurement of emissions from direct energy use allows comparison of thoseactivities that require energy but does not encompass the impacts associated with the production of goods and services consumed by visitors.For thisstudywe followWeidmannandMinx’s(2008)workonfootprintingwhichusesaconsumptionaccountingmethodologythat defines impact as “the total set of greenhouse gas (CO 2 e) emissions caused by anorganisation, event, product or person”. By choosing a consumption approach and CO 2 e asREAP Tourism’s measure of impact, the tool goes beyond the scope of other visitor impactstudies where impact is often limited to the direct energy use of accommodation, activity providersandvisitortravel(Becken2005;Becken&Patterson,2006).Whenaccountingfor emissions, REAP Tourism’s “CO 2 e Footprint” not only measures the direct energy but alsoincludestheindirectsupplychainemissionsinvolvedintheproductionoffood,consumablegoods and services. The only other study found to date which accounts for a full CO 2 efootprint of visitors, including food and consumer items, is Konan and Chan’s (2010) studyin Hawai’i.Most footprint studies and models describe the impact of their given population over ayear but this can restrict investigations. Becken and Patterson (2006) compared the energyuses of visitor types in New Zealand, and found that meaningful comparisons betweenvisitor types are only possible when trip lengths are equivalent. Taking this into account,REAP Tourism allows measurement of visitors impact on a total and per visitor nightmetric as used by Becken and Simmons (2008). This means the volume of impact can becompared as well as a measure of impact intensity, and the user can profile the relativeimpactsofdifferentholidaysandchoices.ColeandSinclair(2002)highlighttheimportanceof considering seasonality of impacts and REAP Tourism can be used to consider impactover timeframes shorter than a year so that the effects of events, peak season and publicholidays can be explored.  Measuring visitor activity or the tourism sector? There is a distinction between measuring the impact of the tourism sector and measuringthe impact of tourists themselves. G¨ossling et al. (2005) measure the eco-efficiency of thetourism sector in various locations and the comprehensive UNWTO-UNEP-WMO (2008)study attempts to measure global emissions from all tourism. One of the difficulties associ-atedwithmeasuringtheimpactofthetourismsectorisaccountingforservicessuchascater-ing and transportation which are used by tourists and local residents alike (Hunter, 2002).This issue is removed when impact is assigned to the tourists themselves.    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   I  e  v  a   Z  e   b  r  y   t  e   ]  a   t   1   1  :   5   1   0   6   J  a  n  u  a  r  y   2   0   1   3


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