Despite being one of the fastest-growing sectors, contributing significantly to global jobs and GDP, Travel & Tourism’s water usage accounted for a modest percentage of available freshwater. However, amidst concerns about water scarcity, there’s a growing imperative for the sector to manage its water resources more efficiently.
The report emphasizes that while Travel & Tourism’s water usage is lower compared to sectors like agriculture, the global challenge of water scarcity demands concerted efforts towards sustainable practices.
WTTC, in partnership with Accenture and Oxford Economics, has crafted a framework aimed at helping the travel and tourism industry set water targets, minimize their water footprint, and enhance water resilience.
This collaboration resulted in comprehensive data analysis, best practices, and methodologies to steer the industry towards more sustainable water practices.
The study highlights regional variations in water usage across different continents in tandem with the growth in international arrivals. It underlines the potential for the sector to further diminish water consumption, aligning with the global water action agenda’s goals.
WTTC’s President & CEO, Julia Simpson, stressed the sector’s unique ability to influence change and calls for collective action to address water scarcity issues. The report aims to inspire a shift towards responsible water use and a regenerative future while advancing progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6.
Accenture’s Global Travel and Aviation Sustainability lead, Jesko-Philipp Neuenburg, underscored the transformative role of data and technology in driving collaboration and implementing water reduction strategies across the travel supply chain. Neuenburg emphasized the need for travel organizations to revamp their efforts and create actionable water strategies using technology and data.
Amidst climate change challenges, the report stresses the urgency of building resilience and assigning monetary value to water risks within the Travel & Tourism sector. It advocates for the adoption of digital technologies as an innovative approach to navigating complexities and addressing emerging risks.
WTTC introduces the Water Management Action Framework, focusing on water footprint reduction and resilience across supply chains. This framework emphasizes science-based targets, internal prioritization, adequate funding, and collaborative efforts for a sustainable and resilient future.
The call for collective action underscores the importance of safeguarding water ecosystems within the Travel & Tourism sector. The outlined framework aims to guide stakeholders towards sustainability through prioritization, funding, and collaborative measures, ensuring a resilient future for the industry.