There is a need for new enterprises as pioneers for sustainability in tourism, but also for new customers, says former UNEP director Klaus Töpfer. Consumers increasingly pay attention to the conditions under which products have been produced or services rendered.
Both will reinforce each other: sustainable products and the demand from customers who decide to buy them. The sustainability criteria include energy options that produce less CO2 and contribute less to climate change. The precautionary principle demands to act in such a way that there will be no regret – e.g. in terms of reducing CO2 emissions.
Tour operators need to assess how much CO2 is emitted during a holiday they sell, including by their partners along the service chain. They also need to ensure that they use local products to support the local economy, reduce emissions and protect the natural environment.