On Estimating Transportation Energy Consumption and Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Off-shore Island Tourism—A Case Study of Haikou City, China

  • 1. China Tourism Academy, Beijing 100005, China;
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Received date: 2015-09-22

  Revised date: 2016-06-22

  Online published: 2016-11-15

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China (41101044); Key Project of National Social Science Foundation of China(15AGL012)


In the tourism industry, transportation is the greatest consumer of energy and contributes the largest amount of CO2 emissions (ECCE). Airplane flights make up between 60% and 70% of all forms of tourism transport. Since airplane travel is the main way for tourists to access islands, airplane travel receives considerable attention in the study of the relationship between island tourism transportation, environment and economy. However, the parameters adopted to estimate ECCE in the literature are usually either out-of-date or taken from papers not written in China. To improve the accuracy of estimates, all the parameters used in this paper are current and were obtained locally. Based on these parameters and a bottom-up approach, a more accurate estimation of ECCE for the off-shore island city of Haikou was obtained in 2012. The results indicate that 24.30% of the city’s energy consumption, 33.89 PJ, was due to tourism transportation, while CO2 emissions were 2.54 Mt. It is incorrect to assume that tourism is “an industry with no pollution”. In Haikou, for example, tourism turns out to be the major form of energy consumption in the city. This paper makes several suggestions intended to minimize the negative environmental impact from tourism transportation. These include recommending longer stays, a decrease in the number of flights, taxation of airplane emissions, and the setting up an environmental recovery fund.

Cite this article

WU Pu, TIAN Mi . On Estimating Transportation Energy Consumption and Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Off-shore Island Tourism—A Case Study of Haikou City, China[J]. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 2016 , 7(6) : 472 -479 . DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2016.06.007


1 Becken S. 2002. Analyzing international tourist flows to estimate energy use associated with air travel. Journal of Sustainable Tourism , 10(2): 114-131.
2 Becken S and Hay J E. 2007. Tourism and Climate Change: Risks and Opportunities. Clevedon: Channel View Publications.
3 China Statistics Yearbook Editorial Committee. 2012. China Statistics Year book (2012). Beijing: China Statistics Press. (in Chinese)
4 Development and Planning Department in Civil Aviation Administration of China. 2013. Statistical bulletin of the civil aviation industry in 2012. Beijing: China Civil Aviation Press. (in Chinese)
5 Development and Planning Department in Civil Aviation Administration of China. 2012. Statistical bulletin of the civil aviation industry in 2011. Beijing: China Civil Aviation Press. (in Chinese)
6 Gössling S, Peeters P, Ceron J P, et al . 2005. The Eco-efficiency of Tourism. Ecological Economics , 54(4): 417-434.
7 Gössling S. 2000. Sustainable tourism development in developing countries: Some aspects of energy use. Journal of Sustainable Tourism , 8(5): 410-425. doi:10. 1080/09669580008667376
8 Gössling S. 2002. Global environmental consequences of tourism. Global Environmental Change , 12(4): 283-302.
9 Guang M. 2013. Haikou will implement the second phase of limiting high emission vehicle, no more motor vehicle with high carbon emission. Haikou Evening News. http: // 08-26/317378. html. (in Chinese)
10 Haikou Statistic Bureau. 2013. Economic and social development statistical bulletin in Haikou, 2012. 201212/t20121213_554529. html. (in Chinese)
11 Høyer K G. 2000. Sustainable tourism or sustainable mobility? The Norwegian case. Journal of Sustainable Tourism , 8(2): 147-160.
12 He J C. 2011. Energy consumption of aircrafts in China’s civil aviation during 1960-2009. Journal of Transportation Systems Engineering and Information Technology , 11(2): 12-16. (in Chinese)
13 IEA (International Energy Agency). 2012. CO 2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion - Highlights . Luxembourg: Imprimerie Centrale, 111-123. http:// www.iea.rg/publications/freepublications/publication/CO2emissionfromfuelcombustionHIGHLIGHTS. pdf.
14 Eggleston H S, Buendia L, Miwa K, et al . 2006. IPCC: Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. IGES: The National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme.
15 Kuo N and Chen P. 2009. Quantifying energy use, carbon dioxide emission, and other environmental loads from island tourism based on a life cycle assessment approach. Journal of Cleaner Production , 17: 1324-1330.
16 Li F Q, Li J F, Hu X J. 2010. Study on the carbon footprint measuring and carbon utility of the eco-cultural tourism area in west Hubei. Journal of Anhui Agricultural Sciences , 38 (29): 16444-16445; 16569. (in Chinese)
17 Lin T P. 2010. Carbon dioxide emissions from transport in Taiwan’s national parks. Tourism Management, 31(2): 285-290.
18 Peeters P. 2005. Climate change, leisure-related tourism and global transport. Hall C M, Higham J (Eds.), Tourism, Recreation and Climate Change . Clevedon: Channel View Publications, 247-259.
19 Standardization Administration of China (SAC). 2004. Limits of Fuel Consumption for Passenger Cars. Chinese National Standard GB19578- 2004. (in Chinese)
20 Standardization Administration of China (SAC). 2008. General principles for calculation of the comprehensive energy consumption. Chinese National Standard GB/T2589-2008. GB%2fT+2589-2008&Token=$Token$&First=First. (in Chinese)
21 Shi L X. 2011. Study of transport energy consumption and carbon emissions. Beijing: China Economic Publishing House. (in Chinese)
22 Shi P H and Wu P. 2011. An estimation of energy consumption and CO 2 emission in tourism sector of China. Journal of Geographical Sciences , 21(4): 733-745.
23 Tang J. 2010. Low-Carbon Tourism ecological circular economy system study: Taking Hunan for example. Hunan Social Sciences , 5: 131-134. (in Chinese)
24 Tao Y G and Zhang H X. 2011. A rough estimation of energy consumption and CO 2 emission in tourism sector of Jiangsu province. Social Sciences in Nanjing , 8: 151-156. (in Chinese)
25 UNWTO (World Tourism Organization). 2009. Towards a Low Carbon Travel & Tourism Sector. Report in World Economic Forum, 2009: 3-36.
26 Wang G L, Liao W M, Huang M. Deng R G. 2011. Calculation of tourism carbon footprint on final consumption: A case of Jiangxi Province. Ecological Economy , 5: 121-124; 168. (in Chinese)
27 Wei Y X, Sun G N, Ma L J, et al. 2012. Estimating the carbon emissions and regional differences of tourism transport in China. Journal of Shanxi Normal University ( Natural science edition ), 40(2): 76-84. (in Chinese)
28 Wu P and Yue S. 2013. The progress of research into energy use and carbon dioxide emissions from the Chinese tourism industry. Tourism Tribune , 28(7): 64-72. (in Chinese)
29 Xiao X, Zhang J, Lu J Y, et al . 2012. Analysis on spatial structure and scenarios of carbon dioxide emissions from tourism transportation. Acta Ecologica Sinica , 32(23): 7540-7548. (in Chinese)
30 Yang X J and Huo Y P. 2006. A study on environmental impact of tourism transportation. Journal of Arid Land Resources and Environment . 20(1): 42-46. (in Chinese)
31 Zhang G W. 2010. Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction of Integrated Transportation System. Journal of Transportation Systems Engineering and Information Technology , 10(2): 2-11. (in Chinese)
32 Zhang J H, Zhang J, Liang Y, et al . 2005. An analysis of tourism ecological footprint and eco-compensation of Jiuzhaigou in 2002. Journal of Natural Resources , 20(5): 735-744. (in Chinese)