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CEL home > Issues >| Tourism

We invite you to download CEL's Holidays and Travel leaflet in rtf (24 kb), or send your address to CEL resources and request a fully designed a paper leaflet on Holidays and travel

On this page:

Effects of Tourism
Some positive suggestions for holidays

We may take pride in inserting an energy efficient light bulb in our house, giving a £10 donation to the World Wide Fund for Nature, and occasionally walking to the shops instead of taking the car, but
have you ever thought what a big environmental impact your holiday can have, and especially the pollution involved in transport getting there?

Three excellent sites to visit:

Influencing Consumer behaviour towards Sustainable Tourism -

Flying off to a Warmer Climate - a fun site which calculates for you the air pollution caused by any flight route you choose. It will make you think twice.

ECO-Tourism Some good letters on the Web on pros and cons of sustainable and eco-tourism.

AirportWatch learn about problems caused by aeroplanes and aerports



Did you know that

  • Since the year 2000 more people in the world are employed in the tourist industry than in any other, including arms and agriculture..

  • Aeroplane travel causes more pollution per passenger mile than trains. Some estimates are between three and eight times as much.

  • Air travel is often cheaper than train because there is no international tax on aviation fuel. Is this fair?

  • In many cases of mass tourism, 80% of the holiday fee goes to the tour operator and travel company and less than 20% to the local people.

  • In many parts of the world, including the south of England, there are water shortages, whilst golf courses continue to be built.

  • In India women are becoming slum dwellers as the fields they used to farm have been turned into golf courses. Many have then been driven to prostitution to support their families.

  • Golfers, caddies and residents near golf courses can suffer from respiratory diseases. Up to 90% of the chemicals sprayed on golf courses can end up in the air

  • Some Britons have bad behaviour abroad. The degenerative behaviour of larger-louts and drug abusers in the Mediterranean led a British vice-consul to resign in 1998


point The Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism (ECOT)
formerly called The Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism (ECTWT) produces a colourful quarterly journal with news of Sustainable or not so sustainable tourism issues, called Contours and these are available online. there are other good reports.

The ECTWT produces easy to read leaflets in a variety of languages (incl. English, French, Spanish) on:

  • Golf Tourism
  • Let's go Cruising
  • Let's gamble
and booklets such as
  • Palestine/Israel: To travel fairly. (Many Christians go on pilgrimages to the Holy land .. but how much contact do some package tours give people with the local Palestinians, a good number of whom are Christians.?)
The ECTWT was founded in 1982 and is composed of the regional conferences of churches in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Middle East, Latin America and the Pacific as well as the Catholic Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences.
ECTWT's address is: Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism Mr. Tan Chi Kiong, Ex. Secretary CCA Centre 96 2nd District, Pak Tin Village, Mei Tin Road Shatin, N.T. Hong Kong SAR Fax 852-26 94378 Email:

point Tourism Concern
This British based charity has a website with lots of good links, and would welcome your membership to support its work

point Flying off to a warmer climate
A This website enables you to calculate the amount of air pollution produced when flying on different journeys. ..perhaps your upcoming holiday or business trip. The Climate Train Ecobalance Page which compares a journey by train and boat with an air journey and finds that 3.8 times as much CO2 per passenger is produced on the air journey, but that the effect of all the other gases produced by the plane (Ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and water vapour) at high altitude is over 7 times the CO2 equivalent of the ground journey..

Tourist Trap
Youth Topics Sheet: Issue 29 produced by CAFOD, Chirsitian AId and SCIAF:
This is a FREE worksheet. So you could order say 30 of them if you had a class of 30 to teach! (Whether intellegent 10 year olds, secondary school groups or university groups or church adult or youth groups.) This sheet deals with the social problems of Tourism firstly, but there is a big overlap with environmental problems. It forms an excellent basis for a participatory lesson , or for running a discussion group. Christian Aid PO Box 100 London SE1 7RT. Tel: 0207 620 4444


Why not use your holiday to learn more about nature, or to help conserve nature in some way?

The Field Studies Council has 14 residential centres in England and Wales, and is now working with The Scottish Field Studies Association with its centre at Kindrogan in Perthshire. They run week long courses and weekend courses on topics on almost any natural history topic you can imagine.. insects, flowers, geology, butterflies, mosses, sedges, algae ...... Beginners are very welcome. Everyone appreciates you have to start somewhere. And there are more general courses, such as Walking, and Exploring Churches.

The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers runs cheap holidays.. get fit, make friends, help nature conservation.

Go to one of A Rocha's Christian based Field Centres. e.g. in Portugal.. but try and get there overland rather than by plane!.


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