Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2011, Vol. 66 ›› Issue (2): 235-243.doi: 10.11821/xb201102009

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A Rough Estimation of Energy Consumption and CO2 Emission in Tourism Sector of China

SHI Peihua1,2, WU Pu2   

  1. 1. Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, 100044, China;
    2. China Tourism Academy, Beijing 100005, China
  • Received:2010-03-09 Revised:2010-11-20 Online:2011-02-20 Published:2011-02-20
  • Supported by:

    The Key Project of China National Tourism Administration, No.10TAAK007

Abstract: In 2009, a total of nearly 900 million international tourist arrivals were counted worldwide. A global activity of this scale can be assumed to have a substantial impact on the environment. In this contribution, five major aspects such as the change of LUCC and the use of energy and its associated impacts had been recognized. Recently, the impact of tourism on environment and climate attracts the attention of international organizations and societies in pace with rapid development of tourism industry. Energy consumption and CO2 emissions in tourism sector has become a hot topic of international tourism research in recent five years. The use of energy for tourism can be divided according to transport-related purposes (travel to, from and at the destination) and destination-related purposes excluding transports (accommodation, food, tourist activities, etc.). In addition, transports, accommodation and food are related to many other industries dependent on energy. Thus, the estimations of energy consumption and CO2 emissions in tourism sector have become a worldwide concern. Tourism in China grows rapidly, and the number of domestic tourists was 1902 million in 2009. Energy use and its impact on the environment increase synchronously with China's tourism. It is necessary to examine the relationship between energy use and CO2 emissions. In this article, a preliminary attempt was applied to estimate the energy consumption and CO2 emissions from China's tourism sector in 2008. Bottom-up approach, literature research and mathematical statistics technology were also adopted. According to the calculations, Chinese tourism-related may have consumed approximately 428.30 PJ of energy in 2008, or ahout 0.51% of the total energy consumptions in China. It is estimated that CO2 emissions from tourism sector amounted to 51.34 Mt, accounting for 0.86% of the Chinese total. The results show that tourism is the industry of low-carbon and the leading industry coping with global climate change, energy-saving and CO2 emission reduction. Based on this, the authors hold that tourism should become an important field in low-carbon economy.

Key words: tourism, energy consumption, CO2 emission, estimation