IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Dubois, Ghislain
  • Peeters, Paul
  • Ceron, Jean-Paul
  • Gössling, Stefan


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dubois, Ghislain & Peeters, Paul & Ceron, Jean-Paul & Gössling, Stefan, 2011. "The future tourism mobility of the world population: Emission growth versus climate policy," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1031-1042.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:10:p:1031-1042 DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2009.11.004

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Akerman, Jonas & Hojer, Mattias, 2006. "How much transport can the climate stand?--Sweden on a sustainable path in 2050," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(14), pages 1944-1957, September.
    2. Vedantham, Anu & Oppenheimer, Michael, 1998. "Long-term scenarios for aviation: Demand and emissions of CO2 and NOx," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 625-641, July.
    3. Tight, M.R. & Bristow, A.L. & Pridmore, A. & May, A.D., 2005. "What is a sustainable level of CO2 emissions from transport activity in the UK in 2050?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 235-244, May.
    4. Schafer, Andreas & Victor, David G., 1999. "Global passenger travel: implications for carbon dioxide emissions," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 24(8), pages 657-679.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:touman:v:54:y:2016:i:c:p:275-283 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:touman:v:33:y:2012:i:5:p:1038-1041 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Filimonau, Viachaslau & Dickinson, Janet & Robbins, Derek & Reddy, Maharaj Vijay, 2013. "The role of ‘indirect’ greenhouse gas emissions in tourism: Assessing the hidden carbon impacts from a holiday package tour," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 78-91.
    4. Aaron Gutiérrez & Daniel Miravet, 2016. "The Determinants of Tourist Use of Public Transport at the Destination," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-16, September.
    5. Shaun Vorster & Marius Ungerer & Jako Volschenk, 2012. "2050 Scenarios for Long-Haul Tourism in the Evolving Global Climate Change Regime," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 1-51, December.
    6. repec:eee:touman:v:55:y:2016:i:c:p:326-336 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:touman:v:47:y:2015:i:c:p:341-347 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:touman:v:40:y:2014:i:c:p:15-26 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Paul Peeters & Martin Landré, 2011. "The Emerging Global Tourism Geography—An Environmental Sustainability Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, December.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:10:p:1031-1042. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.