Due to changes in visitors' behaviour and growing awareness among professionals in the tourist industry, Paris Region, the world's leading tourist destination, must integrate an urban sustainable development approach, particularly via its 2011/2016 Regional Tourism and Leisure Programme.
Sustainable development: from words to action
Ensure a good balance between environmental protection, social responsibility and the economic efficiency of one's company: these three concerns are gradually taking root in major economic sectors like tourism.
The 2011-2016 Regional Strategy for the development of tourism and leisure activities states a willingness to ensure that Paris Region becomes an international benchmark in sustainable tourism. But to meet the challenge of making the tourist industry environmentally and socially responsible, we need to stop simply talking about sustainable development and start putting words into action.
Therefore, the Paris Region Tourist Board has drawn up a sustainable development strategy in the form of concrete action, thus providing tourist operators with support on the ground. The sustainable development resources centre is a basic tool to help you put words into action; it aims to provide information corresponding to your concerns. Its purpose is to gain a better understanding of the challenges raised by this subject and take a course of action on the ground.
First Carbon Footprint© of the top tourist destination in the world
With 32.7 million hotel arrivals in 2013, Paris Ile-de-France is consolidating its place and the number one tourist destination in the world, and reaffirms an economic success that risks being weakened by rising energy costs and climate change over the next 30 years.
The growth in visitors to Paris Ile-de-France is forcing changes in behaviour and technological progress in order to ensure that tourist activity is sustainable.
Région Ile-de-France has therefore asked the CRT to conduct a prospective study into tourism faced with these challenges, including the first Carbon Footprint© of the destination's tourist activity.
The results of this study, carried out over two years and concerning greenhouse gas emissions linked to business and leisure traveller journeys, have led to a forum that brings together all those involved in tourism, public and private, in preparation for the COP 21 (Conference Paris Climat 2015).
Starting from the premise that if nothing is done, greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) linked to the tourism industry in Paris Ile-de-France will rise to 27.2million tons of CO2 equivalent (unit of measurement for GHG): in 2050 the study today is already revealing impressive figures: return trips by tourists create the most emissions in the industry (see diagram below) of which 67.8% concerns air transport.
Action to prepare ourselves for the tourism of tomorrow :
Based on carbon diagnostics: the CRT is drawing up an action plan in order to support tourism professionals:
- to make clientèle living nearby more aware, particularly through the promotion of rail travel
- increase the duration of stays by improving the quality of tourist services
- establish a incentive pricing policy for visitors who come on low-carbon transport
- offer virtual visits, as well as web conferences
- improve multimodal connections etc.
Thanks to the MALICE tool, the CRT is supporting accommodation providers based in the Ile-de-France (and restaurants soon as well) in the environmental and financial management of their establishments, helping them to reduce their impact (energy, waste, water, CO2, health) and are creating an environmental label.
Thanks to the resource and information centre, the CRT is responding to the issue of sustainable development for the tourism sector in the Ile-de-France region via its professional portal pro.visitparisregion.com .
The regional strategy for the development of tourism and leisure activities (2011-2016) states a willingness to ensure that Paris Ile-de-France becomes an international benchmark in sustainable tourism.
"Paris Ile-de-France must be an example of sustainable development. The CRT is mobilising all tourism professionals to make it the number one sustainable destination in the world" explains François Navarro, Managing Director of the CRT.