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Tracking tourism’s carbon footprints

As part of the low carbon tourism project initiated by the Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO) with financial support from the European Union “switch Asia programme,” an Environmental Information System (EIS) for the tourism industry will be developed. This will maintain data on carbon emissions, energy use and waste. The project will be in place by the year-end.

It will serve as a basis for creation of benchmark to qualify low carbon tourism products and services.

For the EIS, a comprehensive baseline data from 710 tourism entities, like hotels, restaurants, guest houses, campsites, tour operators, guides, handicrafts, and suppliers, on carbon emissions, energy use and wastes have been gathered, compiled and analysed.

Besides, 21 specific case studies were carried out for various tourism enterprises for qualitative data and analysis, to supplement the baseline survey, and gauge the real environmental status of entities.Five new cases studies are also in progress.

The project is also a collective initiative to supplement the wider national effort to bring about greater awareness on the negative impacts of tourism activities, and develop mitigation measures and options for greener tourism.