The future tourism mobility of the world population: Emission growth versus climate policy

G. Dubois, J.P. Ceron, P.M. Peeters, S. Gössling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


Much of global passenger transport is linked to tourism. The sector is therefore of interest in studying global mobility trends and transport-related emissions. In 2005, tourism was responsible for around 5% of all CO2 emissions, of which 75% were caused by passenger transport. Given the rapid growth in tourism, with 1.6 billion international tourist arrivals predicted by 2020 (up from 903 million in 2007), it is clear that the sector will contribute to rapidly growing emission levels, and increasingly interfere with global climate policy. This is especially true under climate stabilisation and “avoiding dangerous climate change” objectives, implying global emission reductions in the order of -50% to -80% by 2050, compared to 2000. Based on three backcasting scenarios, and using techniques integrating quantitative and qualitative elements, this paper discusses the options for emission reductions in the tourism sector and the consequences of mitigation for global tourism-related mobility by 2050. It ends with a discussion of the policy implications of the results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1042
JournalTransportation Research. A, Policy and practice
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • transport
  • scenarios
  • co2


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