Pre-COVID-19, Travel and Tourism was the third largest industry globally, accounting for 8% of the world’s carbon emissions. As one of the key components of travel is people getting from one place to another, it does not come as a surprise that transportation is the most significant contributor to the greenhouse gas emissions in the industry, accounting for 49% to 75% of the overall emissions generated in the industry.
The Adventure Travel Trade Association and Switzerland Tourism have collaborated on a research project on how public transportation is currently utilized in adventure travel itineraries, what kind of difficulties are faced by industry professionals, and what could be done better, with the purpose of helping adventure industry companies better understand public transportation as a component of the tourism ecosystem.
- In 2019, 59% of the 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals used air travel as their mode of transportation to arrive in their destination, followed by road travel at 35%.
- While a large traditional city bus is estimated to have a relatively high level of emissions per passenger compared to other methods, a coach bus (like those typically used by adventure travel tour companies) is actually more efficient than traveling by domestic rail.
- 53% of survey respondents agree they need to work on changing to more sustainable means of transport, and it’s a priority for the next 12 months.
- Primary challenges with public transport: 67% said there is a lack of physical infrastructure to use public transport at their destination and 37% responded that their clients are not interested in taking public transportation.
- A small number of companies give discounts on public transportation tickets or offer creative incentives to travelers who utilize public transportation on their itineraries.