Climate scientists in Australia say tourism causes over 8 per cent of greenhouse gasses. They say that this figure will increase because the tourism industry is growing. Their study looked at the carbon footprint of different areas of tourism. It studied the CO2 emissions from transport, events, hotels, restaurants and shopping (including making souvenirs). Researchers spent 18 months on their research. They looked at the tourist activities of 189 countries. A researcher said her team analyzed the impact on the environment of over one million businesses involved in tourism.
The researchers said domestic travel caused more CO2 emissions than international travel. Air travel was the largest part of all tourism. Flying will continue to increase emissions as more people become richer. The countries with the biggest tourism carbon footprints were the largest and richest nations - the USA, China, India and Germany. Their carbon emissions will increase as more of their citizens travel. The researchers said holiday-makers should try and reduce their carbon footprint so their vacations cause less harm to the planet.