Publication type: Conference other
Type of review: Not specified
Title: Sustainable tourism design based on a life cycle assessment of tourism activities in Thailand
Authors: Prapasponga, Trakarn
Keller, Regula
Stucki, Matthias
Suskerm, Supanut
Chumpanya, Thornwarot
Chaiwat, Weerawut
et. al: No
Proceedings: The 9th international conference on Life Cycle Management abstract book
Conference details: LCM 2019, Poznan, Poland, 1-4 September 2019
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Poznan University of Technology
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Poznan
Language: English
Subjects: LCA; Tourism
Subject (DDC): 338.927: Environmental economics and sustainable development
Abstract: Tourism is an important and rapidly-expanding economic sector globally. The continuous growth of international tourism has supported the global economy via job creation and export revenues. Nevertheless, the tourism activities have caused negative impacts on the environment due to the over-exploitation of natural resources and inadequate environmental controls. Eco-tourism is an option that could appeal to tourists who are not interested in conventional holidays. Small businesses in Thailand addressing these ecological aspects can profit from an increase in the number of tourists staying in their hotels and participating in their leisure activities. Conventional travel agencies can expand their product portfolio by offering conventional holidays with a lower environmental impact. To determine environmentally friendly tourism options, an analysis of the environmental impact of both conventional and existing offers is required. This work aimed to assess environmental impacts of tourism activities and to recommend how to design sustainable tourism services with lower environmental impacts throughout the whole life cycle. The case study focuses on tourism activities in Patong, Phuket, Thailand – one of the world’s top tourism destinations. The functional unit was one tourist stay for one night (person.night). The foreground data were collected from one hotel, two hostels, 120 tourists (38 Thais and 82 foreigners) and Patong municipality. Tourism activities consist of accommodation (hotels and hostels), mobility (airplane, ferry, private car, motorcycle, public bus and public van), leisure activities, food consumption (local, non-local, meat, vegetarian, etc.) and waste and wastewater management. End-point environmental impacts (human health damage, ecosystem damage, and resource scarcity) were assessed by using the ReCiPe 2016 v1.1 method. Criteria for eco-tourism identified as tourism activities with shared facilities, less resource uses and lower environmental impacts were applied for assessing level of eco-tourism in the studied area. Conventional tourism with hotel accommodation; mobility via long-haul flights/private vehicles; and intensive leisure activities had higher environmental impacts than eco-tourism due to the more resource uses per person.night. The mobility had contributed to more than 85% of all environmental impacts from tourism. The impacts from long haul flights could be partially compensated by the longer period of stay at the tourist destination. Domestic flights yielded lower impacts than domestic mobility via private vehicles. Hotel and hostels have similar environmental impacts from waste and wastewater management. When compared with the foreign tourists, the local tourists had lower environmental impacts due to the shorter mobility distance and the choices of activities. The assessment showed that 43% of tourists had medium to the highest levels of eco-tourism; and 57% of tourists had low to the least levels of eco-tourism. Future improvements to reduce environmental impacts from tourism should focus on international and domestic transport services and the length of stay. The improvement of public transport systems in tourist destinations is also needed in order to shift mobility patterns. This research can be applied to allow businesses to provide tourism services in a less environmentally impactful way and to support sustainable tourism policies in Thailand and around the world.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: Ökobilanzierung von Tourismus in Thailand
Appears in collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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