How do we calculate the carbon footprint of a destination due to tourist transportation?

The relationship between climate and tourism is bidirectional. Climate change affects tourism, as rising temperatures and increasingly frequent extreme weather events all over the world are already affecting the competitiveness of destinations and causing significant changes in tourist flows. At the same time, tourism causes climate change through greenhouse gas emissions. The largest share of emissions is caused by the transportation of tourists. When we think about reducing the impact of tourism on climate change, it makes sense to focus primarily on measures in the field of mobility or tourist transportation. The carbon footprint is the tool that allows us to identify the biggest sources of emissions and thus the strongest levers for action.

As part of the support program for municipalities, on May 27, 2022, in cooperation with Zavod Znanje Postojna, Umanotera held a seminar Carbon footprint of a destination due to tourist transport – how do we calculate it?, which was attended by more than 70 representatives of Slovenian tourist destinations, municipalities, ministries, educational and research institutions, companies and non-governmental organizations. The great interest in the seminar shows that the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a current topic in Slovenian tourism, as Slovenia is successfully promoting itself as a tourist destination committed to green, sustainable tourism. With this image, it also attracts tourists who, on the one hand, expect a sustainable offer, and on the other hand, they themselves want to contribute to reducing the environmental footprint of tourism.

The carbon footprint is a tool for planning measures to reduce the impact of tourism on climate change, but at the same time it can also be an effective way of communicating achievements in this area. The pilot calculation of the carbon footprint of tourist transportation in 2021 for the destination Postojna showed that the majority of emissions are caused by the arrival of tourists to the destination. The biggest opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint of tourism is therefore to encourage tourists to travel to destinations by public passenger transport – bus or train. However, in order for tourists to decide to arrive at destinations by public passenger transport, it is crucial that they are guaranteed mobility during their stay in the destination. Despite the fact that transportation within the destination does not cause a large part of the emissions, the offer of sustainable mobility in the destination is therefore key to reducing its overall carbon footprint.

You can see the presentation of the calculation of the carbon footprint of tourist transport on the example of the destination Postojna, which was carried out by Renata Karba and Snežana Simič, at the following links: PPT in video.

Additional information: Renata Karba,, 05 907 1334