A forest

Sustainable Travel & Tourism

Travel & Tourism growth is outpacing that of the global economy, and while WTTC data shows that the sector’s environmental footprint is being decoupled from its economic growth, we must accelerate this trend to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Climate Agreement and Convention on Biological Diversity. It is essential, that together, we ensure that tourism growth is sustainable & inclusive, contributing positively to the communities, natural ecosystems, and cultural heritage upon which our sector depends.

Our initiatives

WTTC works on a number of sustainable tourism initiatives with leading associations & organisations to ensure that Travel & Tourism benefits people and businesses, as well as nature & the environment. These include:

Environmental and social data

Research and guidance


Environmental and social data

Sustainable Travel & Tourism relies on robust data to inform management. Therefore, WTTC has expanded its economic impact reporting to include the environmental and social footprint of Travel & Tourism across 185 economies – both direct impacts and across its value chain. Indicators of the environmental and social research (ESR) include greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), water use, energy use and composition, pollutants, resource extraction, as well as the gender, age and wage profiles of Travel & Tourism employment. 

Explore in-depth the data and associated analyses and factsheets on the dedicated ESR microsite:

Environmental and social research

data concept

Research and guidance

We create a wide range of sustainable tourism reports, roadmaps and guidance covering climate, environment and social topics. You'll find much of this on our Research Hub as well as through the below links.

a man and a glacier


According to WTTC’s Environmental and Social Research, Travel & Tourism contributes approximately 8% to overall global GHG emissions. While the sector’s emissions intensity has steadily fallen since 2010, we must start decreasing our sector’s absolute emissions in order to achieve Net Zero Travel & Tourism by 2050. WTTC therefore works with partners to recommend industry-specific decarbonisation pathways and ambitions, Net Zero tourism guidance and roadmaps covering scopes 1-3, and baseline data to support decision-making.

diving and coral


Travel & Tourism is intrinsically linked to biodiversity and nature. Over half of the sector’s demand is driven by the desire to explore nature and it is one of six economic sectors with over 80% of its goods and services highly dependent on nature. At the same time, tourism revenue and the presence of visitors, fuel conservation efforts, protected areas, and local economies. The sector's interdependence with our natural surroundings places it in a unique position to act as a Guardian of Nature. As such, WTTC works with partners to deliver critical guidance on areas such as single-use plastic reduction strategies, freshwater management roadmaps, and Nature Positive approaches to integrating biodiversity safeguards and protecting and restoring nature.


Data, research and guidance are great! But we need action, and we need it now to create a more sustainable future for Travel & Tourism. Below are some of our top sustainable tourism initiatives:

accommodation and nature

Key publications

Some of our other key publications include: