This professorship supports tourism actors and policymakers with the transition to sustainable development and near-zero emissions. The research team develops knowledge on and solutions to reduce the environmental impacts of tourism and transport, notably those on climate change.
The fast-growing contribution to climate change is one of the main challenges for tourism. This professorship specialises in measuring the carbon footprint of tourism and tourism transport, and how to avoid it, for example through carbon management practices.
But our research also offers the measurement of a range of environmental impacts of tourism and transport. In addition, we study the governance and policy issues related to addressing these environmental impacts.
We focus on a broad range of environmental policy fields, such as:
Carbon footprint of tourism products and destinations
Impacts on ecosystems and nature / park management
Low- and high-carbon forms of tourism
Paradoxes of sustainable development
Policy processes addressing environmental issues
Practices of tourism actors
Rail and road transport
Sustainable destination development / destination management
We perceive climate change as a wicked problem, and approach research in a multidisciplinary way, where tourism and transport studies and geography mix with environmental and behavioural sciences, including business behaviour, governance, and sociology. Methods are both qualitative and quantitative and include development of sustainability tools for tour operators, destinations, and transport companies. Apart from informing policymakers, we also critically review and analyse how policies are developed, what role stakeholders play, how knowledge is used, and why sustainable development often fails to emerge in tourism.
We are well-connected to NGOs, policymakers, (sustainable) tourism actors, and the research community in many parts of the world. We have published advice for the European Parliament, the Dutch House of Representatives, OECD, UNWTO, and many others. Our core products are project reports, scientific and professional publications, and education.
The research team:
Professor Paul Peeters
We keep our own carbon footprint low. We use sustainable modes of transport as much as possible.
SASTDes (Smart Assessment Sustainable Tourist Destinations) aims to resolve key issues in the sustainability assessment process of tourism destinations.