Essays on Carbon Offsets and Its Impact on Sustainability in the Tourism and Travel Sector and Airlines Industry Research Paper

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The paper "Carbon Offsets and Its Impact on Sustainability in the Tourism and Travel Sector and Airlines Industry" is an outstanding example of a research paper on environmental studies. According to McLennan, Becken, Battye, & Fung So (2014, p. 194), carbon offsetting is linked to the airline's industry and over the last ten years has been instrumental in counteracting air-travel associated emissions. For different airlines and hotel industries, different offset schemes have been adopted but with low uptake. Carbon offsets involve minimization of greenhouse and carbon dioxide atmospheric concentrations using renewable energy or reforestation.

The current low participation in carbon offsetting by air travellers is linked to a lack of knowledge due to poor media coverage. Due to lack of uniformity in the definition of carbon footprint, the definition as provided by Pandey, Agrawal, & Pandey (2011, p. 137) is the quantification of the selective overall amount of carbon dioxide emissions ensuing unswervingly or indirectly from an action or cumulative over the product lifecycle. According to Pandey, Agrawal, & Pandey (2011, p. 135) carbon footprint is a methodology used for managing greenhouse gases, which makes it a viable tool for guiding industries on how to slash and authenticate emissions.

This tool is crucial in plummeting greenhouse gases linked to high global temperatures especially due to Kyoto gases in the chlorofluorocarbons family whose impact of Global warming potential (GWP) is high (Pandey, Agrawal, & Pandey, 2011, pp. 136-137). It is also a pointer of a people’ s lifestyle for a given country. Examples of company application of carbon offsetting and carbon footprint Lu & Shon (2012, p. 124) reveal that, despite its role in international travel, the airline industry negatively influences the environment.

Airlines measures taken to reduce carbon footprint include engine design alteration, progression in air traffic management, and promoting effective operation. For instance, Virgin Atlantic Airline uses Gold Standard Offset Scheme that grants each class of passengers a carbon offset that equates to the weight of seats and equipment and the amount of cargo for each travel and has it verified by Greenhouse gas Verification Company (Sustainable Aviation, 2011). Through its partnership with Virgin Atlantic, climate charity implements innovative solutions such as hydropower in Indonesia and farm waste power plants in India.

Hotel sector significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions especially carbon dioxide (McKercher, Prideaux, Cheung, & Law, 2010, p. 297). Emission reduction scheme proposed in the reduction of carbon footprint includes an extended stay in a destination, air travel lessening, increased use of terrestrial transport, use of proficient tour operations, choosing tourism destination near home, and carbon Offset Scheme. In some hotels like Clarion Hotel Stockholm, the company strategy involves Gold Standard carbon offsetting where guests choose to offset services such as a night at the hotel, or a meal and the extra charge is added to the bill.

The money then goes to projects like building wind power plants in developing nations courtesy of Tricorona, which implements UN-registered projects (Clarion Hotel Stockholm, 2014). Discussion of the concept of Carbon Offsetting and sustainability in tourism and travel According to Chiesa & Gautam (2009, p. 10), the travel and tourism sector promotes global employment and economic growth. Additionally, travel and tourism transport networks are crucial economic assets for people transport and cargo shipments.

Consequently, it is crucial to measure the impact of travel and tourism for informed travel and tourism choices (Fly, Couzens, & Wilson, 2008). In travel and tourism, carbon offsetting entails paying chance parties to lessen emission, contributing towards sustainable tourism and carbon neutrality. By subscribing to a compulsory or voluntary carbon offset, tourists and organizations contribute significantly to the reduction of carbon emissions (Dhanda, 2014, pp. 5-6). For instance, an approximated amount of $705 million was used involuntary market carbon emissions equating to about 123.4 million tons of CO2 minimizations.

Conclusion With companies requiring additional data and increased transparency on the ecological effects from their suppliers and management travel, the carbon footprint and carbon offsetting adoption require more emphasis. In addition, the contribution of the tourism sector on climate alteration lacks comprehensive assessment and this means additional CO2 and other greenhouse emissions. Consequently, travel and tourism sectors should adopt green and sustainable operations to enable differentiation from competitors and attract environment-aware tourists.


Chiesa, T., & Gautam, A. (2009). Towards a Low Carbon Travel and Tourism Sector. Booz & Company.

Clarion Hotel Stockholm. (2014). Carbon Offset - FAQ. Retrieved from

Dhanda, K. K. (2014). The Role of Carbon Offsets in Achieving Carbon Neutrality: and Exploration of Hotels and Resorts. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 26(8).

Fly, R. H., Couzens, N., & Wilson, G. (2008). Measuring the Environmental Impact of Travel: Business Intelligence for Informed Travel Choice. United States: World Economic Forum.

Lu, J.-L., & Shon, Z. Y. (2012). Exploring Airline Passangers' Willingness to Pay for Carbon Offsets. Transportation Research Part D, 17, 124-128.

McKercher, B., Prideaux, B., Cheung, C., & Law, R. (2010). Achieving Voluntary Reductions in the Carbon Footprint of Tourism and Climate Change. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 18(3), 297-317.

McLennan, C.-l. J., Becken, S., Battye, R., & Fung So, K. K. (2014). Voluntary Carbon Offsetting: Who does it? Tourism Management, 45, 194-198.

Pandey, D., Agrawal, M., & Pandey, J. S. (2011). Carbon Footprint: Current Methods of Estimation. Environmental Monitoring Assessment, 178, 135-160.

Sustainable Aviation. (2011). Virgin Atlantic offers first ever onboard carbon offset scheme. Retrieved from

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