Developing indicators for managing tourism in the face of peak oil

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Publication date: 2007-08-30
First published in: Tourism Management
Authors: S. Becken


In its present form, tourism is dependent on the availability of oil and is comparatively oil-intensive. While forecasts for future tourism growth are optimistic, there is also increasing evidence about the imminence of a peak in oil production and the economic effects that this would cause. Globally and on a destination level, it will be necessary to consider how a transition towards fossil-fuel free economies might look like for tourism.It is therefore timely and prudent for the tourism sector to consider its current oil requirements and derive indicators for monitoring its oil consumption. In particular, destinations need indicators of the amount of oil consumed by the various markets from which they receive visitors. New Zealand is used as an example for assessing the oil-intensity of its Top 10 countries of origin based on the ten indicators. Overall, the least exposed markets for New Zealand on oil are Australia, China, Singapore, and Taiwan, although a more detailed analysis would be required for markets that display heterogeneous travel behavior. Among the indicators, eco-efficiency is particularly important as it allows comparison of resource inputs with economic outputs.

Published in: Tourism Management, Volume 29, Issue 4, August 2008, Pages 695-705
Available from: ScienceDirect

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