The change in climate which is being experienced now is due to global warming as a result of the depletion of the ozone layer. It is one of the issues that require urgent intervention to save the planet earth. Different substances that are produced into the atmosphere are as a result of consumption of the natural resources in industries or other anthropogenic activities, after which wastes in the form of solid, liquid, or gas are emitted into the atmosphere that leads to the depletion of the ozone layer and in the end causes global warming, these leads to the climate changes that in turn lead to different damage in the environment like drought, floods, and change in the tide of the sea among others. The production of greenhouse gases due to human activities has increased to70 percent between the years 1970 to 2004 Wahab &Piagram (1997). This shows the extent of damage human activities brings to the environment.
The tourism industry is one of the industries that involve the use of resources, which produces wastes that damage the environment. The rate of tourist resource consumption and the increasing number of tourism per year leads to misuse of the natural resources and production of wastes into the environment which in the end causes the climatic change. The increase in the number of tourist firms and organizations and the creation of different destination points for tourism results in activities that produce waste that leads to the depletion of the ozone layer as well as environmental destruction.
Tourism is useful in reducing poverty among poor countries or communities as the tourist spend a lot of money in these countries thus improving their economic status. It also involves air travel using planes or cruise ships to visit different natural resources like animals, plants the water bodies among other Hall (2005). However, the form used by tourists has some environmental costs since it leads to environmental damage. The use of different accommodation facilities and food and beverages leads to the production of wastes that contaminate the environment.
The business travel package unit which comprises of transportation of people and commodities from one place to another by land, air, or sea organized by management companies and suppliers involves the use of resources and means that emit wastes to the environment. These wastes are deposited into the environment where they can cause extreme damage to the environment. The travel business is one of the sources of emission of substances that deplete the ozone layer. Airplanes, cruise ships, and even buses use fuels of a different kind and produce gases such as carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that cause the depletion of the ozone layer that lead to climatic change Swarbrooke (2001).
Most of the business travel companies and tourism firms concentrate too much on the revenue they gain, making them develop different and sophisticated ways to attract more customers or tourists, and in turn, spend less effort in trying to come up with ways of reducing the impact of environmental damage that their businesses cause. Furthermore, the use of technologies that will help to produce effective ways of avoiding the production of greenhouse gases among other environment damaging wastes is avoided by the travel and tourism industry as it is considered expensive.
Impact of business travel on the natural environment
Business travel involves the transportation of clients from one destination to another either by air, land, or sea. It entails the provision of accommodation for the clients in different hotels or restaurants. During this process in the travel industry, different substances are produced in the atmosphere. Business travel among other travel and tourism businesses accounts for 15 percent to 20 percent of the total emission of greenhouse gases, with air travel producing the highest percentage Cortese (2009).
Air travel is the highest producer of ozone depletion substance in the business travel, and according to the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, air travel or aviation produces more than 1.6 percent of the total emission of greenhouse gases especially carbon dioxide among other substances like water vapor, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide IPCC (1999). Furthermore, the International Air Transport Association has estimated that aviation or air travel produces 2 percent of the carbon emission in the world, which makes 23 percent of the transport sector.
The production of greenhouse gases by air travel has more impact on the depletion of the ozone layer although it does not produce as many greenhouse gases as industries. This is because the gases are emitted by the plane at higher altitudes, thus nearer to the ozone layer as compared to industries and other greenhouse gas emitters making it have more impact. The inefficiency in the control systems in air traffic also makes air travel produce more greenhouse gases, this is because fewer control systems lead to optimizing of air routing difficulty and holding patterns for the plane are less, making the consumption of fuel high thus increasing carbon emission IATA (2004).
Another mode of transport used in business travel also adds up to the emission of greenhouse gases. The vehicle uses fuel which is burnt up in emission. Fuel like diesel has the highest amount of carbon that when burnt up produces carbon substances that easily deplete the ozone layer. The use of road transport produces the highest amount of greenhouse gases in the business travel industry. The use of cruise ships and rail also leads to the production of ozone-depleting as well as the pollution of the water bodies, especially for the sea mode.
Accommodation places or hotels used by business travel also result in environmental damage. The use of energy sources like electricity and gases will cook results in the production of carbon gases. Also, different appliances use in these hotels, for instance, air conditioners, heaters produce greenhouse gases like CFC and carbon dioxide which are very dangerous to the ozone layer.
These hotels also use commodities and products that are not environmentally friendly and after the use, they are disposed of onto the environment. This substance because they take a long to decompose damage or pollutes the environment. Furthermore, the use of energy sources that are much energy instead of the use of energy serving devices leads to environmental destruction.
Business travel also leads to the pollution of the water, soil, and even air. Different modes of travel and commodities used by their clients are deposited directly into the atmosphere causing pollution. It also leads to much extraction of oil from its natural resource and raw materials for different use by the tourism industry which brings harm to the ecosystem and the inhabitants of it.
For tourism to prosper there is a need for a quality environment those in natural or manmade form. However, the relationship between tourism and the environment is complex as many activities of tourism harm the environment Goudie (1989). Such impacts are linked with the construction of infrastructure like airports and roads, tourism facilities like hotels resorts, and also the maintenance of tourist sites. The impacts are includes;
The development of tourism puts pressure on the limited resources especially when the tourists increase the consumption in places where the natural resources are scarce already. These resources can be water or even land. The water resource is overused by tourists as it is used for different purposes like in swimming pools, hotels, golf courses as well as personal use. The tourists used a high volume of water even in areas of water scarcity thus leading to the depletion of the available water resource. For instance, the use of water especially fresh water on golf courses leads to the scarcity of water as it uses a large volume of water. The golf course also consumes vast fertile land that may have been used to do meaningful plantation, this leaves the place that had natural resources to be meaningless Neil (2009).
Tourism also creates a lot of pressure on the less available local resources such as raw materials and food. The local resources are extracted intensively during tourism and resources are put under pressure especially during a high tourist turnover to a place that inhibits fewer people thus forcing the local resource to stretch to meet the new standard.
The land resources like forests, wetlands, wildlife, and fertile soil are being degraded due to increased tourism that requires the construction of their facilities. The land is used to construct facilities and parks are built on forest land thus reducing wildlife and forest, as the trees are used for timber causing much destruction on the land. The wetlands are destroyed during adventure by the tourists making the natural flora in it be destroyed.
The tourism business causes different forms of pollution from air pollution, noise, sewage release, solid waste, and also chemical and oil waste. Tourism increase has lead to an increase in transportation by road, rail, and air. As the tourists are being transported, different greenhouse gases are emitted from the modes airplanes, vehicles or train which lead to global warming. Air transport causes higher air pollution as well as the production of ozone-depleting substances. Transport also leads to noise pollution, which can lead to loss of hearing, stress, and even wildlife distress and alteration of the natural activities and patterns of animals.
In areas where there is a high concentration of tourists like in natural attraction points, the disposal of waste is a major problem, as the solid wastes are disposed of in different areas which leads to soil pollution. Also traveling using a cruise ship leads to the disposal of solid wastes in the sea.
Sewage disposal is also a common problem with tourism. Different hotels that accommodate tourists dispose of the untreated sewage in water bodies. This leads to extensive water pollution that can cause the death of aquatic animals as well as cause diseases. The use of cruise ships has also lead to the spillage of oil and other chemicals into the sea causing water pollution. The chemicals and oil can make the aquatic animals suffocate to death. Tourism also leads to the physical impact of the tourists on the ground. The places in which the tourists stay for a short period are left in a devastating condition as the trees are cut for fire and different plants are destroyed.
Different parties in the business travel and tourism industry are trying to come up with ways of reducing the impact it causes on the natural environment. This is through the establishment of environmental policies that are detailed to prevent environmental damage and also working on strategies of implementing these policies Makower (2007). Such policies include specific regulatory action on carbon emission through ways like the carbon tax.
To reduce or prevent carbon emission by airplanes, vehicles, trains, or even ships, the business travel, and tourism industry is trying to use the carbon offsetting method. This is where they mitigate their greenhouse gas production by measuring the carbon footprint produced. This has come a long way in regulating the emission of greenhouse gases.
The use of renewable energy such as biofuel, wind, solar and hydro energies are being adopted by the travel and tourism industry to o help reduce the depletion of the ozone layer as well as conserving the environment. They are also using low carbon and sulfur fuels in vehicles and airplanes to reduce significantly the amount of ozone depletion substances produced.
Conservation of the environment by the use of environmentally friendly products has also been adopted by the travel and tourism industry. These have helped reduce the pollution caused by hotels and also clients and tourists. The use of energy-serving appliances to conserve the environment has gone a long way in providing a safer and environment-friendly means.
Hotels and accommodation areas have developed ways of producing their source of energy. They are also treating the sewage produced before releasing it to the water bodies to prevent pollution of the environment.
Business travel and tourism have also adopted ways of conserving the environment in the place they operate. They conserve the environment through the raising of funds that are used in different environmental conservation methods like tree planting. They have also adopted the reuse and recycle policy of maintaining a clean and safe environment GreenBiz (2008).
The business travel and tourism industry also are one of the major contributors of environmental damage and climate change, they have through different interventions tries to reduce the impact it causes on the environment. Through this intervention, the tourism and business travel industry has good a big step in conserving the environment.
From different policies on environmental sustainability to adopting direct ways of reducing the damage on the environment, the industry has used environmental measures to sustainable tourism level to operate within the natural capacity for regeneration and future efficiency of primary resources for instance maintaining the available natural resources, as well as looking for ways to enhance life quality and environmental conservation for the future generation.
The business travel and tourism industry like other industries have to lead to the climatic change being experienced as well as the destruction of the environment. Its different activities involved transportation that has to lead to the emission of greenhouse gases in large numbers that result in the depletion of the ozone layer.
Tourism has also lead to the depletion of natural resources, land degradation, and pollution of different kinds such as air pollution, water pollution through sewage, chemicals, and oil. It has also caused pressure on the limited resources available as it involves the construction of facilities that uses land and trees, use of water for swimming pool, golf course, and personal use. These have to lead to the depletion of the available natural resources.
The industry has also lead to the destruction of forest land to build parks and has caused the wildlife and other natural trees to diminish.
Although the industry has caused much damage to the environment, they are reducing the level of impact by involvement in different conservation and prevention ways. The use of a more environmentally friendly way, use of fuels that a less in carbon and sulfur, using the energy-saving appliance and even signing treaties to preserve the environment are some of the ways the business travel and have adopted to preserve the environment as well as reducing the depletion of the ozone layer.
Involvement in different environmental conservation practices such as tree planting, treating sewage among others has been the objective of this industry. It is also involved in funding different environmental conservation projects that are aimed at protecting the environment. Thus the effort made by the business travel industry in conserving the environment is worth noting as they not only help in conserving the environment but also help the prosperity of poor countries and communities.
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