Passionate about making tourism more sustainable. Rachel has over 20 years experience in the tourism industry and has worked with governments, business and NGO’s worldwide. She is also an Associate Professor at Ryerson University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management where she teaches and researches in marketing, research and sustainable tourism.

Articles by Rachel

Sustaining Tourism – one hotel at a time!

The tourism industry is often ignored when the world thinks of the big polluters in industry. Visions of smokestacks billowing black smoke tend to come to mind but the industry which includes cruising, accommodations, attractions, tour operators, casinos and airlines does its fair share to hurt the planet.

Accommodations collect a large piece of the tourism pie and are located pretty much everywhere. From a sustainability point of view, however, they have the highest environmental impact after hospitals – as they operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.  Hotels use an incredible amount of water, energy and produce large quantities of waste. The average hotel guest creates approximately 2-3 kg of waste per person per night. They also use approximately 350 litres of water per guest per night. A luxury hotel uses up to 1800 litres per guest per night. Putting this into perspective – a medium size hotel uses the same amount of water in one day as a small village of 100 families would use in one year. And the hotel pays for their water twice – once to bring it in and once to dispose it.  Socially, and depending on where in the world the hotel is located, numerous other issues arise. Low wages, insufficient breaks, community injustices and disregard of planning legislations can name a few!

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