Cabinet To Consider Report On Ways That Sustainable And Environmentally Friendly Tourism Can Be Promoted
Cabinet will consider a new report from the government's Sustainable Tourism Working Group today (Tuesday October 19) on ways that sustainable and environmentally friendly tourism can be promoted....
Cabinet will consider a new report from the government's Sustainable Tourism Working Group today (Tuesday October 19) on ways that sustainable and environmentally friendly tourism can be promoted.
As reported by The Irish Independent, the report states that carbon calculators should be put in place by the end of March of 2022 to allow tourists to calculate the impact of their holiday's carbon footprint on the environment.
Tourists and tour operators reportedly may also be asked to take a "sustainability pledge", which reportedly should also be developed by March of 2022 and reportedly would "support Ireland's efforts to help preserve the environment and act in a responsible and sustainable manner," according to the report.
The report reportedly says that a feasibility study should be carried out to see the infrastructure that would be needed to travel across Irish tourism hot spots through "sustainable modes of transport", and that tourist attractions around the country should be "promoted" as "best in class" in terms of sustainability.
One of the action points in the report reportedly states that incentives should be put in place to encourage tourism businesses to go green.
The report reportedly says that carbon benchmarks should be put in place for Irish tourism, and, "The establishment of a benchmark CO2 value for Irish tourism will support evidenced-based decision making for effective reduction of the tourism carbon footprint."
The report, which will be brought to Cabinet by Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin and has reportedly been seen by The Irish Independent, reportedly says that there is a need to develop more "greenways, blueways and walking trails" to attract tourists, and that responsibilities should be assigned at "director level" at Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland to give direction and "increased profile" for green tourism.
The report reportedly adds that by the autumn of 2022, a "senior industry representative" should be assigned to act as a "sustainability champion" to encourage businesses to "play their full part in delivering the sustainability agenda".
The working group reportedly also advises that tourism should be considered in any research carried out by the Department of Transport into the impact of the carbon tax on the aviation sector, and that there is a need for a "clear narrative" to be established for communications about the government's "sustainability agenda and its implementation".
The report reportedly states that this narrative should reflect "community and business understanding and attitudes towards it", and reportedly says that "workshops" should be organised with community groups and local farmers to "maximise the potential of nature-based solutions in local tourism".
The report reportedly warns that businesses that are not sustainable in the future will become the "outliers", and reportedly states, "The industry needs to continue moving in a sustainable direction.
"Both because of the benefits to the environment and communities, but also to individual businesses.
"Over time, sustainability will become the norm and it will be those businesses not engaging which will be the outliers."
The report reportedly states that the "successful implementation" of the recommendations in the plan will mean a "green transition" for the tourism industry, and that this will give "better access to information and tools for visitors to practice responsible tourism and give tourism businesses and destinations the ability to measure tourism's impact on the environment".
As well as calling for the development of a new national tourism policy which takes account of the ambition for more sustainable tourism development here, the working group has reportedly compiled a list of 30 other different actions to be taken over the next two years, reportedly including identifying new data sources to measure seasonality and the regional spread of visitors to understand consumer behaviour when international tourism resumes after the COVID-19 pandemic, and reportedly also said that the impact of the introduction of carbon taxes for the aviation sector on the tourism sector will have to be considered in future research being conducted by the Department of Transport.
Government Source Statements
A government source reportedly said that this is likely to involve examining how carbon taxes will affect the cost of flights to Ireland and if this would lead to increased demand for ferry access to Ireland or longer stays for holidaymakers.
The source reportedly said, "It also looks at things like carbon calculators for tourists, so they can look at carbon offsetting their holiday, incentives for businesses to go green, use sustainable materials or rainwater in any of their processes. Practical measures that can be introduced to make Ireland a more sustainable destination.
"Other countries like New Zealand and Costa Rica do this very well and are popular destinations. We want to bring change to the industry, making sure it has a balanced approach."
Platform For Analysing Carbon Emissions
The above news coincides with news that, as reported by The Irish Times, Kerry financial services group Fexco has partnered with UK and US-based consultancy Avocet Risk Management to launch PACE (platform for analysing carbon emissions), a tech system that they reportedly say allows airlines and lessors to accurately measure how much carbon their fleets generate. It reportedly combines flight data with aircraft information to give a readout per plane, per flight or per fleet.
Aviation lessors have reportedly previously suggested that fleets with lower emissions may be cheaper to finance in the future, and taxes on air travel will reportedly be linked more closely to carbon output, and systems such as Pace reportedly may have a role to play in providing accurate data.
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