Dickhut, H. et al.Measuring the sustainability of tourism in Germany

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Heike Dickhut, Wolfgang Strasdas, Marius Goerge & Johanna Schulze Düding

Release date:
May 2023

Federal Environmental Agency (UBA), texts | 73/2023

The project presented here has pursued two main goals. First, the so-called Tourism Sustainability Satellite Account (TSSA), an accounting system for measuring the sustainability of tourism in Germany, which was initially developed and applied in the previous project phase2, was repopulated with the currently available data. The TSSA is an extended tourism satellite account (TSA) and indicator system respectively that is essentially based on the statistical frameworks of national accounts (NA) and environmental economic accounts (EEA). In addition, the TSSA includes social indicators that measure the sustainability of labor relations in tourism. The TSSA thus enables a systematic attribution of the economic, environmental and social impacts of tourism to tourism-related economic sectors at the national level.

In terms of environmental impact, energy consumption in the tourism sector has slightly increased compared to the last measurement (based on data from 2015 or 2016). However, energy intensity has decreased over the same period. Energy intensity in tourism is about as high as for the average of the German economy. Regarding tourism-induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and particularly emissions intensity, the situation has also improved, even though the GHG emissions intensity of tourism is still well above the average of the German economy. Within the tourism sector, transportation (in particular aviation and shipping) contribute the most to energy use and GHG emissions. By contrast, tourism-induced water consumption appears to be less of a problem in Germany. The water intensity of tourism is significantly lower than the average of the German economy. Within the tourism sector it is the highest in accommodation and gastronomy.

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