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Transforming tourism value chains in developing countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to accelerate more resource efficient, low carbon development

As of: May 2021

The tourism sector is estimated to be responsible for around five percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Strongly dependent on fossil energy and food imports, this sector creates value chains that make inefficient use of resources and are susceptible to climate change impacts. The project helps partner countries in their efforts to reduce and improve the efficiency of their resource usage in key segments such as the hotel/hospitality industry. Work also includes analysing and updating inventories of greenhouse gas emissions and sustainable products and services. The project is also developing integrated measures for mitigating emissions and improving resource efficiency, based on a lifecycle approach with specific indicators for mitigation and adaptation priorities. Lastly, the project is helping to build up resources and expertise in local organisations and is very active in relevant networks with the aim of ensuring that project results can be shared at a national and regional level.

State of implementation/results

    1. Assessment Phase (2017-2018):
    • Stakeholder advisory groups in each of the four target countries have been set up, to provide inputs to reports and plans developed, encourage business participation, and establish connections with key actors.
    • Four country reports have been finalized, identifying critical areas for improvement and a short list of interventions for reducing GHG emissions and impacts.
    • Ten workshops have been held across the four countries, which attracted over 500 representatives from the public sector, private sector and civil society.
    • May/June 2018: Project Workshops in the focus countries have been carried out, discussing among others the Low Carbon and Resource Efficiency Roadmap/National Action Plans as well as the environmental performance.
    • October 2018: Workshop – “Leveraging sustainable procurement practices to transform tourism value chains”: Hosted by UN Environment and attended by all project partners and representatives from the tourism industry from each implementation country.
    • September 2018 - February 2019: The overall Mid-term Review of the project is scheduled to take place and will include an independent external review. The overall purpose of the review is to take-stock of results of the project and to provide forward-looking inputs to the next 2 years of the project (implementation phase).
    • Prioritization of sustainable products and services in each country, based on hotspots analysis and consultation with key stakeholders, to advance Sustainable Procurement Component.
    • “Capacity Needs Assessment” and “Sustainable Procurement Assessment” surveys are being carried out with organisations from both public and private sectors. Two reports will then be prepared and serve as inputs for the design of training programmes as well as for the preparation of the National Action Plan in each country.
    • Philippines:
      • The project has been included in the National Tourism Development Plan of 2016-2022.
      • October 2019: First Capacity Building on Energy Efficiency for Hotels and MICE in collaboration with Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance, which thrust is to assist the Philippines into a more energy efficient and clean energy.
    • Dominican Republic:
      • June/July 2018: A Tourism Value Chains Training was carried out in Puerto Plata, Punta Cana and Bayahibe.
      • July 2018: Elimination of the Use of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons and increase of the efficiency of cooling equipment in the hotels to reduce GHG emissions: In collaboration with the Kigali Protocol Program, a training was conducted in Puerto Plata on reconversion of refrigeration equipment.
      • The project has contributed to build the capacity at national level, as it trained people in Resources Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) Methodology. Under this training 13 action plans and assessments were conducted to identify RECP opportunities on cooling, energy and water savings, waste reductions and managements, laundry, etc. in hotels.
      • September 2018: An award ceremony was held to recognise the hotels, professionals and enterprises that actively participated in the RECP assessment and supported the capacity development.
      • The conference “Reduction of Plastic for Single Use in the Tourism Sector” was held in Punta Cana during the ASONAHORES trade fair 2018 to sensitise the hotel sector on the impacts of plastic pollution and potential emissions reduction via circular economy models.
    2. Implementation phase (2019-2020):
    • Business case studies on procurement will be released in March 2019. The Compendium of case studies has been launched at the Fourth United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-4), held in Nairobi during a side-event at the Innovation Expo.
    • National roadmaps and action plans were launched in 2019.
    • The project will develop a monitoring, reporting and verification system for the roadmaps and action plans, as well as for individual businesses in order to measure the impact of taken actions.
    • June 2019: A communication campaign to tackle plastic pollution in the Carribean will be launched at the Signature festival.
    • As of September 2020, more than 90 companies formally engaged with the project, 15 have submitted data to estimate their GHG and RE performance. – 30 capacity building workshops have been held, with over 1600 participants. – A COVID-19 toolkit has been developed to leverage the engagement of tourism businesses and understanding their needs in the recovery of COVID-19 and during the reopening. – A collaboration with the Philippines Department of Tourism has adapted the project campaign on plastics to Filipino to allow upscaling the engagament from hotels and tourism stakeholders.

Further Links

Project data

Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Mauritius, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Implementing organisation:
United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

Political partner(s):
  • Department of Tourism (DOT) - Philippines
  • Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources - Dominican Republic
  • Ministry of Tourism - Dominican Republic
  • Ministry of Tourism & External Communications - Mauritius
  • Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Secretariat (OECS) - St Lucia

Implementing partner(s):
  • The Travel Foundation - United Kingdom
  • UNEP DTU Partnership
  • Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)

BMU grant:
4.978.811,00 €

01/2017  till  09/2021


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