Tourism and Climate Change

The UN World Tourism Organisation estimates that global tourism contributes approximately 26,400 million tons of CO2e/year, or roughly 4.9% of total global emissions. In Tanzania, the tourism industry contributes significantly to carbon emissions. The majority of the carbon footprint is derived from flights originating largely in the United States or Europe, while the smaller part of the emissions can be attributed to driving while on safari in Tanzania.

Vehicle in TanzaniaThe main tourist attractions in Tanzania are at the 12 National Parks, 34 Game Reserves and 38 Game Controlled Areas. This connection of tourism to environment and wildlife only emphasizes the need for sustainable and eco-friendly tourism in Tanzania. A healthy and thriving environment is essential in supporting the wildlife, ecosystem and communities that surround the tourist hot-spots, and addressing the impacts of climate change—through both mitigation and adaptation—is absolutely imperative in ensuring continued growth in the tourism industry.

Emission facts from tourism

Carbon Tanzania believes responsible tourism is possible, but we need to account for our emissions and take responsibility for them!

In 2009, approximately 950,000 people visited Tanzania

  • Average emissions from a 7-day holiday in Tanzania: 5.24 tCO2e *
  • Average tourist holiday (global average): 0.92 tCO2e **
  • Average per capita emissions of global citizens: 16.43 tCO2e ***
  • Average per capita emissions of Tanzanians: 0.56 tCO2e ***

[Note: tCO2e means metric tonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalent]

* Using average figures (long-distance over-seas flight, safari driving days, bed nights), Carbon Tanzania has calculated the average amount of GHG emissions that would be associated with a typical 7-day safari for an individual tourist.

** Estimated by the UN World Tourism Organization, Climate Change and Tourism: Responding to Global Challenges (2008).

*** Calculated by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), World Per Capita Carbon Dioxide Emissions from the Consumption and Flaring of Fossil Fuels, 1980-2006 (2008).