Unlike coronavirus and bushfires, with fallouts instantly felt or actions immediately needed from the authorities, climate change mitigation felt like one challenge that could wait. The issue was always there, but the resolve to tackle it was lacking.
That’s the wrong thinking, so it’s heartening to hear that more industry players are finally galvanizing into action to reduce tourism’s massive carbon footprint just as the long-simmering emergency is reaching a critical point. The route to emissions cutting has not been a clear-cut one without international standards in place, although experts say that should not deter efforts as digitalization is making carbon offsets easier than ever.
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Even carbon-negative Bhutan is suffering missteps in its controlled tourism strategy after surging tourist arrivals in recent years disrupted the pristine environment it’s so famed for. The tiny Himalayan kingdom is now mulling ways, including imposing the sustainable development fee on regional tourists, to prevent itself from becoming yet another overcrowded destination.