While the travel and tourism sector continues to grow worldwide, its water intensity is falling, according to the latest report of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in collaboration with Global Travel and Aviation Sustainability.
The research revealed that from 2010 to 2019, the Asia Pacific, the Americas, and the Middle East saw increased water usage in Travel and Tourism, aligning with growth in international arrivals. Europe and Africa, despite annual increases in international arrivals, managed to decrease water usage by one per cent over the same period, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
This achievement highlights the opportunities within the Travel and Tourism sector to further reduce water usage and take further steps towards the SDG 6 goals of the global water action agenda.
The groundbreaking report called “Water Roadmap for Travel & Tourism” suggests that advancing Travel and tourism requires stakeholders to take specific actions and implement sustainable water practices on a global scale.
Commenting on the report, the president of WTTC, Julia Simpson, highlighted that the purpose of this report is to inspire a transformative path towards responsible water utilisation and a regenerative future, expediting advancements in achieving SDG6 (Sustainable Development Goal).
Water scarcity is a pressing global issue that requires collective action. Travel & Tourism, with its unique influence and global reach, is perfectly positioned to play a pivotal role in fostering sustainable water practices.
Whereas Jesko-Philip Neuenburg, managing director of Global Travel and Aviation Sustainability at Accenture, underscored in the report the transformative role of data and technology
This new publication highlights the transformative power of data and technology to drive collaboration, inform decision-making, foster innovation and implement water reduction and resilience action plans.
The global tourism body considers that adopting digital technologies is no longer just an alternative but an innovative strategy to address complexity directly.
According to WTTC, travel and tourism’s water usage ranged between 3.5 per cent and 5.8 per cent of global available freshwater in 2021 and 2019 respectively.
Although this percentage is a smaller share compared to other main sectors like agriculture and food, constituting 70 per cent of global water usage, WTTC highlighted the necessity for additional efforts. According to them, this is important taking into account that growing water scarcity has emerged as one of the foremost challenges in achieving sustainable development.
The organisation also emphasised the global challenge of more than 2.2 billion people lacking access to safe drinking water and 4.2 billion lacking access to proper sanitation. In this regard, they called for the protection of water resources.