Holidays & Tourism
Demand for holidays and travel has mushroomed in recent years. The proportion of adults in the UK taking two or more holidays/short breaks per year grew from 30% in 2000 to 44% just five years later.
Low cost air travel has increased the distance people travel, and a generation is growing up not knowing the beautiful places on our doorstep. A recent survey of UK adults revealed that on average people had visited just 2% of the towns and cities in Britain.
Long haul air travel is responsible for massive CO2 emissions – on average, a couple flying to Australia and back will generate more emissions from that trip than their entire car and public transport use for a year.
Package holidays in developing countries such as Mexico can come at a heavy price to the local communities, who may have been displaced against their will by the building of the resort/hotel initially.
Tourists put pressure on local infrastructure by using scarce water supplies, and by their disposal of waste.
In many cases the majority of the cost of the holiday benefits the UK tour operator rather than the local population. Food may be imported into the resort, and staff in the hotel may be paid low wages on the assumption that they will receive tips, which frequently don’t materialise when the tourist has bought the holiday as a package.
Luxury cruises may sometimes suffer from similar issues. Staff below deck and out of sight may endure low pay and awful working conditions. Waste dumping at sea may occur, and CO2 emissions can be considerable too – the fuel consumption of a luxury liner can be as high as one litre of fuel per 4 metres, giving a per-passenger mile emissions figure similar to that for flying.
What You Can Do