Spain has everything to become favourite sustainable tourism destination

by Lorraine Williamson
sustainable Spain

Spain has great potential to become a tourist destination of choice for sustainably conscious travellers, according to an analysis by international consultancy McKinsey & Company. To ensure success, however, measures need to be taken. According to McKinsey, sustainability could be the differentiating factor that determines the choice of responsible travellers. 

The analysis highlights that the exponential growth of sustainable tourism worldwide offers Spain the opportunity to benefit from this trend. Travellers are showing a growing interest in authentic and eco-friendly experiences.  

‘Spain meets all the conditions to become a world-class sustainable tourism destination,’ says Javier Caballero, McKinsey & Company partner in the Transport, Travel & Tourism sector.  

Sustainable tourism requires concrete actions 

The report states that adopting sustainable practices in the sector can create jobs, promote innovation and attract long-term investment. However, to achieve this goal, concrete actions are needed. Among the recommendations is the importance of strong public-private partnerships to promote sustainability in tourism.  

Furthermore, it is also essential to define a strategy that includes topics such as decarbonisation, water use or waste management, as well as setting targets and practical actions to achieve them. One example is Costa Rica, where single-use plastic is banned in national parks, nature reserves and national monuments.  

The report also highlights the need to create a set of standard guidelines for the whole sector, such as including mandatory sustainability criteria in the star rating system of hotels to align the motivations of hotel owners and operators.  

Cogesa Expats

The study further states that it is important to provide companies with the necessary support to achieve their goals and to obtain funding at the level of government or industry associations.  

McKinsey’s analysis indicates that although the government-led Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2030 is in place, mechanisms to help small businesses participate and contribute are limited. ‘This is particularly challenging as small and medium-sized enterprises make up the vast majority of businesses in the Spanish tourism sector,’ the consultancy says.  

Also read: Spain considered one of the best sustainable destinations

Large chains have ambitious goals 

The consultancy points out that many of the large Spanish chains have very ambitious goals and are pioneers in launching sustainable tourism initiatives. Smaller chains have only committed to reducing their emissions by 20-35%, with deadlines between 2030 and 2035. However, major international brands have committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and have implemented stringent measures to achieve this. 

Also read: Green Spain unites to deliver sustainable tourism experiences

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