Italy’s travel and tourism sector has continued to experience positive growth and reduced the intensity of its emissions, according to the latest report from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Global Center for Sustainable Tourism.

The data also show that before the outbreak of the pandemic, the Italian sector made up 8.4% of total greenhouse gas emissions, under the 10.7% European average, Schengen Visa Info reports.

Whereas in contrast, in 2020, this figure declined to 4.2% as a result of a fall in activity in the sector during the pandemic.

The WTTC figures show that between 2010 and 2019, the sector’s total contribution to Italy’s economy rose by 1.1% on average per year, whilst greenhouse gas emissions also increased by just 0.2% per year.

In addition, the travel and tourism sector produced 0.37 kilograms of greenhouse gases in 2010 for every Euro generated by the sector in Italy. Yet this figure dropped by an average of nearly 1% per year until 2019, when the sector reached its peak, to hit 0.34 kilograms per Euro generated. In the subsequent years, the amount reduced further, hitting 0.27 kilograms per Euro in 2021.

“Italy’s travel and tourism sector is growing strongly. But it has decoupled its economic growth from its greenhouse gas emissions and continues to reduce its emissions intensity,” said WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson.

She added that Italy’s government should support a rise in sustainable transport, going on to say that electric ground vehicles would ensure the country has a strong supply of sustainable aviation fuel.

Furthermore, the data showed that the Italian sector’s total energy use fell by 0.2% per year between 2010 and 2019.

Also, between 2010 and 2021, there has been a gradual rise in the share of low-carbon energy sources in the national energy mix, up from 6.1% in 2010 to 9.3% in 2021, whilst the sector’s dependence on fossil fuels as an energy source fell.

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