Tourism is a sector that has a substantial impact on our environment, and now some of the most visited tourist attractions in Europe have been analysed to find out which are the most eco-friendly.
1. Tourism’s carbon footprint
Travelling uses natural resources, increases pollution and produces a fair amount of waste, and according to The World Counts, by 2030 CO2 emissions worldwide from tourism could rise by 25%. The negative impacts of tourism are widely known, and there have been various reactions to this in the form of sustainable tourism, responsible tourism, ecotourism, green tourism, low impact tourism among others. Travellers are becoming increasingly conscious of the footprint created by their visit and how they can minimise this.
2. Most eco-friendly tourist attractions
In a new study to see which of the world’s most popular tourist attractions are the most eco-friendly, USwitch’s energy team investigated 27 different attractions, analysing their sustainability credentials using six different categories: water reduction, low emissions, recycling schemes, re-wilding efforts and sustainable transportation. Each attraction was scored out of ten for each of the six categories, with a total score out of 60.
Here are the results of the top ten best scoring tourist attractions:
1. Disney World Magic Kingdom, USA Score: 56/60
2. Sydney Opera House, Australia Score: 50/60
3. Niagara Fallas, USA Score: 46/60
4. Disney Hong Kong, Hong Kong Score: 45.5/60
5. Natural History Museum, UK Score: 44/60
6. Eiffel Tower, France Score: 42.5/60
7. Disneyland Paris, France Score: 42/60
8. Universal Studios Orlando Score: 41.5/60
9. Universal Studios Hollywood, USA Score: 41/60
10. Efteling Themepark, Netherlands Score: 39/60
We can all do our bit to keep nature safe and protect our life support system for generations to come.— Natural History Museum (@NHM_London) April 22, 2020
If we all do a little, it will add up to a lot. Discover how you can help.#EarthDay #EarthDayAtHome https://t.co/YfGySjEXgl
3. Improvements for the future
In Europe, the Natural History Museum in London, which greets 5 million visitors every year, scored the best. This is thanks to several efforts by the attraction to become more eco-friendly, including its announcement in 2019 that it had cut its total greenhouse gas emissions by five percent. Cafes and restaurants throughout the popular tourist attraction have also implemented recycling schemes to help reduce waste, while taps and toilets have been fitted with water-saving measures. The Museum promotes the importance to act to save our planet, and is setting a great example of what can be done to minimise tourists’ impact on the planet. Hopefully an increasing number of other tourist attractions worldwide will follow suit!