File(s) under permanent embargo
Economic impact and water use trade-offs and synergies: a case study of the cyprus tourism sector
conference contributionposted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by Michalis HadjikakouMichalis Hadjikakou, J Chenoweth, G Miller, A Druckman
Water issues have been gaining importance on the global political agenda in recent years. Nevertheless, water scarcity issues are inherently local. The impact of tourism activities on local water resources remains an understudied issue. Tourism is highly heterogeneous and offers a plethora of different products which cater for different tastes and budgets at different times of the year. Tourism products differ in terms of their economic impact but also in terms of their demand for water and other resources.Direct use of water by the tourism industry, which includes water used in hotels, golf courses, water parks and other tourism establishments, is relatively well understood. In addition to this volume of water, substantially more is required indirectly to produce food and other products which cater for tourism demand. Quantifying both the direct and indirect components is essential to understanding total water demand and productivity in the tourism sector. The common perception in Cyprus and other tourism economies is that high-spending tourists represent the most desirable market segment. However, this assertion is rarely based on economic yield assessments and ignores environmental impacts. The present research uses Environmental Input-Output (EIO) analysis along with detailed tourism expenditure data in order to quantify economic and water use synergies and trade-offs, for different tourism markets in Cyprus. The results suggest that different market segments vary significantly in terms of their economic return in relation to total water use. Consequently, there are important sustainability implications for policymakers and destination managers in water scarce destinations.