Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

How can tourism, a global industry, help the environment?


Tourism contributes a significant portion to the world economy. With the millennial generation consciously choosing destinations that follow sustainable eco-friendly practices, it is in a position to push for positive changes that will help the environment as well as global economies.

There is a very good reason that the tourism industry is often referred to as the world largest employer: one in every eleven amongst us, is employed in this sector. It also contributes to almost 9.5% of the world’s GDP.

As per the World Bank, the tourism industry is one of the few sectors which can significantly contribute to boost a nation’s prosperity. No wonder as per World Bank reports “83% of global south countries cite tourism as their principal export.” Although this paints a very rosy picture for the particular country, however for every $100 spent by a tourist from the developed world, only $5 remains in the country’s economy.

A dark and ugly side to it is the significant, if unwilling, role it plays in the proliferation of the modern slave trade. Slavery is still a global menace today, with a $32 billion estimated market, it shackles more than 27 million people globally. A yet another aspect to this sector is the by-products that it generates: the rise of tourism is directly linked to the degradation of the environment.  Moreover, tourism is indirectly responsible for almost 5% of global carbon emissions.

The future of this sector, like in all other sectors, lies with those companies who take responsibility for their actions. It is critical that the tourism industry understand and follows the principles of sustainable business practices. Given its spread and prevalence, it should use its strength and ubiquity, to bring about sustainable growth and development for itself.

With new age travellers preferring the value of experience over material goods, they are likely to travel more and for longer distances. Economic development in the tourism sector is projected to grow at 4.2% a year upto 2024.

As per available studies, travellers are increasingly demanding that the places they visit employ sustainable practices. As per a 2012 survey conducted by TripAdvisor, 71% chose destinations which had eco-friendly and sustainable practices. With the millennial generation being more vocal about their needs and requirement, the authenticity and impact of their tours and travels fuel more trips, as agencies and brands race to meet demand and garner loyalty.

It is in this context, that B Team, an inspiring cross-sector of industry captains have come together with a common vision that caters to the planet, that makes money and helps improve the experience that tourists have on a given trip. It has taken on the challenge of reducing the harm in the tourist industry and increase its positive impact.