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2006

Reducing the ecological footprint of inbound tourism

Peeters, P., Schouten, F.
Bibliographical information:
Peeters, P. & Schouten, F. (2006a) Reducing the ecological footprint of inbound tourism and transport to Amsterdam. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 14 (2), 157-171.

The environmental pressure of inbound tourism of both day-visitors and tourists to Amsterdam was analysed using the ecological footprint (EF) concept. The impacts of accommodation, activities, local transport and transport from the normal place of residence to Amsterdam were all included in the study. The total EF of inbound tourism to Amsterdam was 1.42 million hectares. Approximately 70% of the environmental pressure of inbound tourism originated from transport to Amsterdam, 21% from accommodation, 8% from visiting attractions and other leisure activities and 1% from local transportation. Long-haul tourists accounted for less than 25% of tourism revenues but were responsible for 70% of the EF of inbound tourism to Amsterdam. This high share of EF is caused by the long travel distance per trip using air transport, with a relatively high impact per passenger-kilometre. The paper shows that large reductions in the ecological footprint could be made at relatively little economic cost, if marketing effort was switched from long-haul markets to short-haul markets. Opportunities may exist for this kind of market-shift, as the demand for tourist accommodation within Amsterdam exceeds supply during the high season.
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