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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: September 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

  • 2021: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, several hotels were closed. Nevertheless, by the end of March 2021, more than 30 capacity building workshops had already been held, attended by a total of 1,720 interested parties.
  • More than 94 companies are now part of the project, and 15 companies have submitted data to assess their GHG and EE performance.
  • An article, as well as a video on how to deal with the Corona pandemic in the tourism sector was developed to highlight the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector (…)
  • October 2018: workshop on "Using sustainable procurement practices to transform tourism value chains", organised by UN Environment: all project partners and representatives of the tourism sector from each implementing country are expected to participate.
  • May/June 2018: workshops were held in the focus countries to discuss, among others, the Resource Efficiency Roadmap/National Action Plans and environmental performance.
  • Phase 1: Status Quo Assessment (2017-2018):
    • Stakeholder Advisory Groups were established in each of the four partner countries.
    • Four country reports were developed to examine value chains, identify critical areas for improvement and generate possible solutions.
    • Ten workshops were held in the four countries, attended by over 500 people, including representatives from the public and private sectors and civil society.
    • September 2018 to February 2019: Prioritisation of sustainable products and services in each country based on hotspot analysis and consultations with key stakeholders to advance the sustainable procurement component.
    • Philippines:
      • Project has been included in the National Tourism Development Plan 2016-2022.
      • October 2019: First capacity building on energy efficiency for hotels and MICE in collaboration with the Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance, which aims to help the Philippines develop more energy-efficient and clean energy.
      • In cooperation with the Philippine Department of Tourism, the project campaign on plastics was adapted to the Filipino language to increase the engagement of hotels and tourism stakeholders.
    • Dominican Republic:
      • June/July 2018: Training on value chains in the tourism sector was conducted in Puerto Plata, Punta Cana and Bayahibe.
      • Eliminating the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons and increasing the efficiency of refrigeration equipment in hotels to reduce GHG emissions: In collaboration with the Kigali Protocol Programme, training on the conversion of refrigeration equipment was conducted in Puerto Plata.
      • September 2018: An award ceremony was held to recognise the hotels, professionals and companies that actively participated in the RECP assessment and supported capacity building.
      • The conference " Reducing single-use plastics in the tourism sector " was held during the ASONAHORES Fair 2018 in Punta Cana to raise awareness among the hotel industry on the impact of plastic pollution and the possible emission reduction through circular economy models.
      • The compendium of case studies was launched at the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) in Nairobi.
      • The four national roadmaps and action plans were published in 2019.
      • The project is developing a monitoring, reporting and review system for the roadmaps and action plans, as well as for individual companies, to assess the impact of the actions taken.
      • A Covid 19 toolkit was developed to promote tourism business engagement and understanding of their needs during Covid-19 recovery and reopening.

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  12/2022



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